Snack Smart: Local Pediatric Dentists Give Healthy Snacking Tips

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Not sure how much sugar is too much for your child’s teeth?  Check out these trusted tips from Kangaroo Smiles!

We all know that it’s recommended to limit your child’s sugar intake. Most of us may think that simply means not allowing them to eat their entire bag of Halloween candy all in one sitting.  However, there’s much more that should be considered and often eliminated than just a few pieces of candy.  

One of your local pediatric dentists has been able to collect an arsenal of tips and tricks to have available for fighting the sugary battle with your children.  smiles

If you follow this advice, you may even find that your child is soon on your side!

Surprising Foods to Limit

You may be surprised to find that sugary gremlins are hiding in some snacks that are often considered healthy.  

Eliminate or limit these foods from your child’s diet:

  • Granola Bars – While these grab-n-go treats are a mom’s best friend, they’re actually packed with sugar!  When eaten between meals, not only does the sugar have more chance of forming acid, but the leftover bits of oatmeal and grains easily sits in tooth crevices leading to more decay.  Consider saving these for the times when you can easily follow the snack with a good brushing.  
  • Fruit Juices – Yes, fruit is healthy.  But when drinking fruit juice (even the 100% juice varieties), you’re drinking all of the fructose contained in the fruit, without any of the fiber.  Fructose is a natural form of sugar, but it’s still sugar.  If your child must have juice, consider following some of these tips for lessening sugar intake.
  • Dried Fruit – Yet another snack touted as healthy and danger free; however, most dried fruit options are actually loaded with added sugar.  On top of that, the sticky nature of the fruit easily becomes lodged in tooth crevices, causing the formation of acid on the tooth.  Look for varieties of dried fruit that are sweetened only with fruit juices.  The amount of sugar in these options will be considerably less than those sweetened with refined sugar.

Be Strategic with Treats

We understand that you may still want to offer sweet treats occasionally to your child. That’s fine!  But we do recommend that you offer treats at strategic times to best ensure the health of your children’s teeth.  

If something sweet is on the docket for the day, eat it directly after a meal.  Eating a meal greatly increases the salivary flow in your child’s mouth.  This saliva protects against the naturally occurring acid in sugars.

And, of course, always plan to brush your child’s teeth after a sweet treat.

Winning Them Over

Take it from one of your friendly local pediatric dentists, getting kids to forego their cookies and candy bars is not an easy task.  We hear from parents often that their kids just won’t eat the healthier options.  So what can you do?

Tips From Your Local Pediatric Dentist

Here are some tips we’ve picked up along the way from parents just like you:

  • Let your kids have some say in what snacks they choose.  Look at pinterest together under “healthy snacks for kids”.  They’ll begin getting excited about all the fun and colorful options.
  • Make fun shapes with cookie cutters from cheese, whole wheat sandwiches or fruit.  Arrange veggies and fruit into smiley faces or their favorite animal shape.  
  • Enlist their help at the grocery store.  Let them have free reign in the produce section and then teach them what to look for when picking their produce of choice.  
  • Brainstorm together a list of healthy snacks and then hang the list up on the fridge.  Let them know that these snacks are up for grabs whenever they want!

Healthy snacking isn’t as scary as it seems.  All it takes is a little creativity and some trusted tips from your local pediatric dentist.  As always, the best way to ensure healthy teeth is through proper at-home care and cleanings from your local kids pediatric dentist.  Call us today at 978-425-1496 for more information!