After School Snacks Your Child's Dentist Would Approve Of

Everyone wants what is best for their children. However, finding an after school snack that is healthy, delicious, and good for a child's teeth can be a challenge. For starters, you shouldn't let your child choose a snack unless all of the options available are nutritious and sugar-free. Naturally, you might be wondering what choices you have to offer your child.

Raw and Refreshing Vegetables and Fruit

Raw vegetables and fresh fruits are two great choices for an afternoon treat. You can make a pretty tray of carrots, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, broccoli or other favorite raw vegetables, which are all nutritious and good for teeth.

You can also place fresh pineapple, grapefruit, pears, apples, melon, and oranges on a tray for a sweeter tasting treat. Making funny face designs and offering a fat-free dressing for the tray will add a bit of whimsy to this healthy option. Not only are they yummy, but the hard vegetables and fruit are part of a healthy diet, which also reduces the risk of oral diseases and gum decay.

Crunchy and Cleansing Grains

Healthy grain snacks, such as unbuttered popcorn, plain bagels, or sugar-free cereals, are a great option when fruits and veggies are not in season. Or, you can combine these two options, by offering some low-salt baked tortilla chips or pretzels to partner with the fresh veggies.

Cheese, Please

Cheese, such as Swiss or cheddar, increases the saliva flow to wash food particles from the tooth's surface. The saliva prevents bacteria buildup that can cause plaque. Cheese also provides vitamin D and can be fun in the form of string cheese.

Milk products are a good choice, including low or non-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, or other tasty and healthy choices. Many of the nutrients for strong teeth are in the milk group. Also, don't forget to offer a fresh glass of milk to help wash away the extra food particles.

Nutty and Nutritious

Seeds and nuts are a good source of protein which will aid in keeping kids' teeth strong. Offer some pumpkin or sunflower seeds to the kids as a surprise and see what happens.

The main element to remember when you plan kids' snacks after school is to be creative. Make a snack that has character and don't make the same one every day. Alternate between the food groups and plan the vitamins and minerals along with what your dinner menus include. Your children's teeth will be healthier if you watch what snacks are consumed. For more information, contact your child's dentist (like Marci Mendola-Pitcher DDS).