As parents and kids alike gear up for school again, here are some helpful tips to make sure your child’s teeth stay nice and healthy.
1) Keeping breakfasts healthy. Needless to say many of the cereals on the market are chock full of sugar (sorry Captain Crunch and Tony the Tiger) Having homemade oatmeal with fruit that you can lightly sweeten yourself is a better alternative and only take minutes to put together. Scrambled eggs or omelettes with toast is also another good option. If you’re in a time crunch in the morning, consider making the eggs the night before and just warming them up in the morning. Milk or water is the way to go drink-wise; stay away from the orange and apple juice (up to 8tsps of sugar in one cup)!
2) Keeping recess snacks healthy. In search for convenience, even our family has fallen into the trap of processed snacks like fruit squeezes, granola bars, nut free bars, dried fruit and fruit cups as recess snacks for the kids. Unfortunately, all of these products have an extremely high sugar content as well. Fresh fruit and vegetables like grapes, apples, carrots and celery are great options. Cheese and yogurt are also good provided that the yogurt does not contain extra sugar. Water is the best drink to have at recess-time.
3) Keep away from those sports drinks! As many kids participate in after school sports, there are all sorts of drinks they may reach for to stay hydrated. However, too many drinks often have way too much sugar in them. Here are some of the common offenders:
a. Coca-Cola Classic 146 Calories; 10 tsp of Sugar
b. Minute Maid Orange Juice 165 Calories; 10 tsp (40g) of Sugar
c. POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice 240 Calories; 14 tsp (56g) of Sugar
d. Gatorade G Orange 90 Calories; 5 tsp (20g) of Sugar
Nothing beats ice cold water. Zero calories! Zero sugar!
4) Keep your regular dentist appointments. Seeing the dentist every 6 months for an examination and hygiene appointment is an important way to ensure teeth stay healthy and that any concerns are noted sooner rather than later. As they say small problems are easier to fix than big problems.