It's back to school time and "back to school shopping" is on everyone's top priority list. We've seen some fabulous dresses, super fast shoes and a ton of lovely hair accessories on our fabulous patients. But this is also the time when moms and dads are starting to think about that fun task of making lunches and wondering how to make them interesting, nutritional, yummy and attractive to the little ones. My biggest challenge is to make sure that I make a lunch that gets eaten and not brought back home neatly squashed by the water bottle! And we really want to make sure that those gummies (who doesn't love those?!!!), sweets, juices and other such enemies of teeth will not find their way into the lunch boxes too often. So we figured that it is time for some fun ideas of foods that will not harm little teeth. So here they are: 1. Yogurts or cottage chesese are always good, full of calcium and nutritional. Look for yogurts with low sugar content and you will be surprised to find great choices even in easy to freeze tubes. 2. Cheesees of all kinds. Chose ones with lower fat content, but string cheese works great and is fun to eat. 3. Fruit shishkabobs are so fun, surprise your little ones with different fruit selections on a toothpick each day. Make fun color designs and stick figures with fruit. Fruit is wonderful anyway you do it! Mix it with those yogurts, put it in a box or pack whole pieces like apples, bananas, or plums. Consider adding nuts of all kinds as well. 4. Crunchy veggies such as carrots, celery, broccoli, sugar snap peas or cauliflower. Put them together with your little one's favorite dip such as peanut butter or ranch dressing. 5. Meat roll ups. You can pick your kids' favorite meat and make it pretty by rolling it up, putting it on toothpicks, alternating it with cheese or fruit. 6. Sandwiches are great and can be lots of fun if cut into fun shapes with your cookie cutters!
For drinks void anything we call LIQUID SUGARS. All juices, Gatorade, Powerade, or carbonated sodas are not only full of sugar (6-12 teaspoons each!) but also very acidic. That's a great and powerful combination for cavities. Acid causes erosion and dissolution of teeth and then the sugar is deposited into those weakened areas. Soon after that cavities will form. Replace these drinks with water or milk. Even chocolate milk will do although it does have more sugar than regular white milk. These days there are flavored waters on the market that can be fun as well, but check their sugar content and artificial flavors and make sure you are comfortable with whatever the labels say before sending it with your kiddos.
Have fun with lunch! Make your kids lunch box colorful and exciting to make sure that all their friends want to peak in it daily. That will make your kids happy and they surely will eat all you have packed!