Finding treats and healthy snacks for children to eat between meals can deliver a battle for some parents. It is about pleasing them, and getting them to choose something healthy at the same time.
Sugary snacks and drinks will please them, but can also lead to dental health issues later, such as cavities, so let’s take a look at some great alternatives to sugar-filled snacks that won’t harm their teeth.
The earlier in life you begin the introduction of healthy snacks, the easier it will be to offer them.
Carrots, celery sticks and broccoli make wonderful healthy snacks for children, but some kids can be tricky to convince! Getting them used to a wide variety of raw and cooked vegetables when they are at toddler stage is the key to success.
Great ‘portable’ snack food for trips to the park.
Strawberries, raspberries, grapes and apples are much healthier snacks for children, but do contain heavy natural sugars. While natural sugars can still affect the enamel of the teeth, as sugars turn acidic in the mouth, they are still far less harmful than the processed sugars contained in many snack foods.
Dried fruits, such as raisins, apples, pitted dates, cranberries, apricots and banana also make great snack foods for kids, and are easy to pack for days out.
Encourage your child to drink water and rinse the mouth after eating fresh fruits.
Whole grain bread with peanut butter
This is more like it! Many children love the taste of peanut butter, and it contains the type of fat the body needs. Using whole grain bread rather than sugar-laden white bread inhibits the sugar intake, and is much healthier for the teeth.
You could try cream cheese, vegemite or similar spreads to give to kids who don’t like, or can’t eat nuts. Plain crackers also make a good alternative to bread.
If your child is prone to allergies, consult your GP before giving whole grains or nuts.
The calcium content of most cheeses makes for a healthy snack for children of all ages. Cheese is also useful in its ability to help neutralise plaque acids in the mouth.
Buy ‘portable’ snack cheeses or cut into manageable chunks for trips out.
Popcorn is a traditional movie-goer food, but over recent years has become widely available in a variety of flavours. Try to avoid the syrupy-flavoured, sugar-filled varieties and instead go for a plain or salted popcorn, which makes the best snack food for children and is great for outdoors snacking.
Flossing after eating popcorn should be encouraged, as the kernel cases can easily become lodged between the teeth.
Although yoghurt can be messy, particularly with young children, it makes a great healthy snack food. Plain yoghurt is better for the teeth, rather than using fruit-filled varieties, but you could add manageable chunks of fresh fruit yourself for a tasty treat.
Yoghurt can also be frozen into delicious ice lollies for warmer spells.
It is worth experimenting with different combinations of foods to produce healthy snacks for children. Many parents understand the benefits of teaching children from an early age to appreciate fresh foods, not only for healthy teeth and gums, but for better general health. Learning how to brush and floss the teeth is also critical to give your children the best chance of a healthy smile.
Dental Excel support you in your search for healthy snacks for children
Dental Excel dentists can work with parents to determine a regular dental care routine for your child. We enjoy showing the next generation how to keep their smiles bright and their teeth healthy, and know how to make a routine visit to the dentist a good experience for them.
Contact us today and make your family appointment at Dental Excel. With high-quality dentistry at all five practices across the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, Dental Excel has a friendly and professional dentist local to you.