Back to School: Foods to Avoid in Your Kids' Lunches
Time for back to school shopping … supplies, clothes, snacks. It is up to you what snacks you pack for your kids or what snacks you purchase for them to pack themselves. It can be difficult to think of healthy ideas when you also have to think of transportation, homework, and more. Plantation Dental, your local St. Simons Island dental care provider is here to help.
Here are some foods and snacks to avoid in kids’ lunch boxes to protect not only their teeth, but also their holistic health!
Five Foods to Avoid & Healthy Alternatives
Fruit snacks or gummies and other roll ups
While these may be a fun treat, they are filled with sugar, lack nutrition, and can get stuck to your kids’ teeth very easily. Oftentimes, they are also filled with artificial food coloring and undesirable additives. Replace this with fresh cut fruit or a fruit salad! This will be just as colorful, but will have healthy sugars and a natural taste.
Avoid yogurt that looks like it's for kids due to colorful packaging and fun characters. These are also filled with sugar, artificial colors, and undesirable additives. Switch to greek yogurt if possible! And, you can still make it fun by adding your children’s favorite character to the packaging or top using stickers or colored printouts.
Sugar-sweetened beverages and juices
Most kids juice boxes are unfortunately sticking to the trend of being filled with sugar, artificial colors and fruit juices. Avoid packing sugary drinks like soda, fruit juices, or sports drinks. These beverages can lead to weight gain, tooth decay, and an increased risk of chronic diseases. You can replace this with freshly squeezed juice that you meal prep in reusable bottles or good ole’ water.
Highly processed snacks, like mainstream chips
When shopping for groceries, opt for whole foods instead of heavily processed snacks like chips, cheese puffs, or packaged baked goods. These snacks tend to be high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and artificial additives while lacking important nutrients.
Be mindful of any food allergies your child may have or restrictions imposed by their school. Avoid packing foods that contain common allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, or gluten if they pose a risk to your child or their classmates. This will be much appreciated by the cafeteria staff, teachers, and other parents.
We hope these tips are helpful in setting your children up for success when it comes to healthy lunches, healthy teeth, and holistic health! Be sure to schedule a cleaning for your kiddos if they haven’t been to the dentist in a while.