5 Tasty Snacks That Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay
Healthy Snacks to Keep Kids’ Teeth Cavity-Free
Providing a healthy diet loaded with a variety of nutritious foods is just as important to your child’s growing body as their rapidly developing smile. Diet plays a big role in oral health, particularly when it comes to preventing tooth decay. Offering tasty and nutritious snacks will help prevent cavities and encourage your child to eat new foods they might not have had before.
Have fun trying out these healthy and delicious snack ideas with your kids!
1. Celery Sticks with Fruit and Peanut Butter
The classic Ants on a Log snack is a family-favorite. It’s tasty, nutritious, easy to make, and easy for kids to eat. Peanut butter provides protein but can easily be swapped for a natural nut butter for youngsters who can’t have peanut products.
Traditionally the “ants” would be raisins, but you can get creative with different toppings. If you choose raisins, be sure to pick a brand without added sugar as many dried fruits have added sugar. We recommend skipping the dried fruit and trying fresh fruit instead!
This recipe for caterpillar grapes uses fresh, washed grapes in place of raisins. The end result is super cute but also healthier overall, especially in terms of being one of those teeth-friendly snacks.
2. Creative String Cheese Creations
Cheese is a fantastic source of protein and calcium, which are two very important nutrients for growing kids. Calcium and other minerals in dairy products are also crucial for healthy tooth enamel! String cheese makes a really easy snack since it’s pre-packaged and ready to go, but that can be a bit boring for kids.
Young kids are very visually stimulated so taking the extra step to get creative with presentation will help encourage picky eaters. Some ideas include decorating the string cheese packaging, but you can also use string cheese as an ingredient in more involved snacks.
Here are some really awesome ideas for string cheese snacks.
3. Deconstructed Sandwich Skewers
Sandwiches are a lunchtime staple, but you can use the same ingredients you already have in your fridge to make skewer snacks. Deconstructed sandwich skewers aren’t as filling as an actual sandwich, making them perfect for filling hungry bellies between mealtimes. They can also be made with any ingredients you like, making it really easy to keep skewers exciting and new for kids by swapping a couple of ingredients.
This page has some great ideas for sandwich skewers, including some great combo ideas like turkey, apple, celery, and swiss cheese or melon, ham, grapes, and mozzarella. For cavity prevention, try to include a dairy source for calcium and low-sugar, crunchy raw fruits and vegetables.
4. Yogurt and Honey Fruit Bowls
Yogurt is another great snack that provides protein and calcium; however, most store-bought brands have a lot of sugar. Since plain yogurt can taste tart and unappealing to some kids, a healthier alternative is to use a small amount of honey to add a bit of natural sweetness. This pairs really well with some fresh fruit as a snack or a breakfast option. Berries, grapes, and sliced bananas are often kids’ favorites in fruit bowls, but experiment with whatever happens to be in season.
If you like the guidance of a recipe, here is an easy one to follow. You can also use this breakfast banana split yogurt bowl as inspiration.
5. Animal-themed Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are a versatile snack option for kids and are pretty healthy right out of the package. They are low in fat, calories, and sugar. The crunch is also loved by youngsters and doesn’t stick to teeth like bread might. However, rice cakes can be pretty boring unless you spice things up a bit.
A great way to make rice cakes tastier and healthier for kids is to add some protein and fresh fruit. Since rice cakes are round and somewhat thick, they’re easy and fun to decorate. For kids who love animals, going with some animal-themed rice cakes is perfect!
This owl rice cake is adorable and provides protein from peanut butter, fiber from Cheerios, and vitamins from apple, banana, and blueberries. You could also go for a savory snack by using hummus in place of peanut butter and fresh, raw vegetables to design your animal’s face.
Frequent brushing and regular visits to the dentist will maintain your child’s healthy smile.
Providing healthy meals and snacks is only one of three categories of cavity prevention in kids. The second and third are at-home oral hygiene and professional pediatric dental care!
Your child’s at-home dental care routine should be similar to yours. Make sure their teeth are brushed twice a day for two minutes each session. Flossing should also be done daily or whenever your child has stuck food after a meal or snack. Make sure to provide your child with kids’ oral care products with the ADA Seal of Approval.
Last but certainly not least, take your child to their pediatric dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. Frequent trips to the dentist helps kids learn that dentists are friends and ensures their growing smiles are carefully monitored throughout their childhood. For gentle and compassionate kids’ dental care in Vancouver, WA, check out Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry. Book an appointment today by calling our office or using this online form.