Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is essential for any child’s growth and development. Proper nutrition will help them feel good about themselves and do well in school.
While this is true, kids are kids, which means that eating a healthy diet may not be on their minds. As a parent, you can implement the following nutrition tips to help your child stay on track.
Serve Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Did you know that eating raw fruits and vegetables will actually clean and scrub your teeth? This is a great snack for kids’ teeth, and the antioxidants they contain are great for overall health.
Offer Some Type of Dairy Daily
Dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese are full of calcium. Calcium is a mineral and something the body requires for healthy teeth and bones. It’s also necessary for the proper function of your nerves, muscles, and heart.
Calcium-fortified foods, such as orange juice, and dark leafy vegetables, are a great alternative to dairy products for children with a dairy allergy or who don’t like these foods.
Offer Healthy Snacks
Gummy and sticky snacks will increase your child’s possibility of tooth decay. Also, low nutrient snacks like this will make your child feel full, which means they will not want to eat the healthy foods you have prepared at dinner. Try to avoid these “empty calorie” foods for healthier alternatives, which are better for your child’s teeth and their overall health.
Limit Soda and Juice
If your child drinks a lot of juice or soda, it can mean bad news for their long-term health and wellness. In fact, this has been linked to many cases of childhood obesity.
Soda is full of sugar and acid. These ingredients can cause damage to your child’s teeth and result in tooth decay. The best option for your child is water.
Only Chew Sugarless Gum
If your child is good about eating the fruits and vegetables you offer them; they will eventually want some type of sweet treat. A great option is chewing gum. This will stimulate the production of saliva, which will help to keep the teeth bacteria-free and clean. Also, sugarless gum is made with xylitol. The combination of the xylitol and excess saliva helps to reduce plaque while fighting cavities and preventing oral bacteria from growing.
Teaching Your Kids to Maintain Healthy Nutrition Habits as They Get Older
When you ask your kids to help in the kitchen, enroll them in a cooking class, or just let them help with food preparation, they will be more likely to stick with the healthy habits you have taught them.
While not all foods like healthy foods all the time, and some treats, occasionally are fine, making sure your kid follows these nutrition tips will pay off for their oral health and overall health throughout their life. Keep this in mind as you start planning menus and grocery lists moving forward.