Juggling all of your daily tasks can be a struggle, especially once summer comes around and your kids are out of school. You love getting to see them more and playing with them, but it leaves less time for you to get everything done that you need to. Because you’re so busy, it’s easy to let your kids fend for themselves when it comes to snacks, or even just to give them the easiest, least healthy options. But their favorite easy snacks could be the culprit behind tooth decay and cavities.
Snacks packed with starch
Snacks like chips, crackers, and cookies can cause damage to teeth. Because they’re so starchy, food debris will get lodged in between their teeth and will stick around long after their snack is over, giving that leftover food lots of time to cause problems. Starchy foods also contain a lot of sugar, which is another reason they can cause tooth decay. Regularly brushing and flossing their teeth will absolutely keep some of these issues at bay, but with such starchy foods, it may not be enough, especially if your child is especially susceptible to cavities. About half an hour after a starchy snack, have your child swish some cool water around in their mouth to help dislodge debris. This will help hold them over until it’s time to brush their teeth!
Juice and sugary drinks
It’s a common misconception that, because juice is made from fruit(at least somewhat), that it’s healthy! But just like soda, it’s packed with sugar. Yes, juice is a healthier alternative to soda, but it’s still not the best thing for your child! One of the things that’s most healthy about fruit is all of the fiber in it. Unfortunately, when juice is extracted from the fruit, it doesn’t really take any of that fiber with it. Try limiting the amount of juice your child drinks, or dilute all of their juice with water to reduce the amount of processed sugars they’re intaking.
Those little plastic cups of cut fruit are such a convenient snack for kids, and it’s healthy too, right? Well, while the idea of fruit for a snack is definitely a healthy idea, those cups of fruit are sitting in syrup, which is far from healthy. The best way to give your kids fruit is to give them just regular fruit that hasn’t been altered in anyway. When buying canned or pre-packaged fruit, look for packages that say “no added sugar” or “100% fruit juice”, because these will be your healthiest pre-packaged fruit options.