Wellness

Kids looking inside lunch bags Kids looking inside lunch bags Kids looking inside lunch bags

Lunch box ideas for A+ smiles

With fall schedules in full swing, it can be tough to maintain your family’s oral health. A great way to promote oral health is to pack a lunch box with nutritious foods. Check out these insider tricks to keep your kids happy and their smiles healthy.

Nutritional variety

A well-balanced diet contributes to both overall and oral health. Make sure you’re packing a variety of options from the five main food groups – whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein and dairy. For an extra boost of mouth magic, try choosing fresh, crunchy foods like carrots, celery and apples. These crispy options help mouths stay clean. Their crunchy texture dislodges food from teeth, and they increase saliva production to wash away leftover food residue.

Dessert

It’s no secret that kids like candy, but that doesn’t mean they have to eat foods that tarnish their teeth. To prevent kids from sneaking harmful sweets at school, consider packing mouth-friendly dessert options. Try replacing milk chocolate with dark chocolate and swapping out candy with naturally sweet fruits and veggies such as berries and carrots.

Lunch box goodies Lunch box goodies Lunch box goodies

Foods and drinks to avoid

Be wary of processed foods and drinks with high levels of sugar. Too many sweets like candy, cookies and juice can increase acid levels in the mouth. With repeated exposure, kids are more likely to develop cavities.

After the meal

In addition to packing crunchy fruits and vegetables, help your kids clean their teeth with sugar-free gum. If their school doesn’t allow gum, encourage them to drink water to wash away any remaining food particles. When they aren’t at school, make sure they brush for two full minutes in the morning and again before bed to prevent tooth decay.

Kids talking at lunch Kids talking at lunch Kids talking at lunch

Keep it fun

Lunch boxes are a great place for hiding surprises. Unexpected snacks, doodles or smiley faces can further engage kids in their lunch. Plus, it allows you to get creative. Adding stickers to their lunch box is an easy way to reward kids for eating healthy at school. You might also try leaving them a cute note with food trivia to get them excited about the snacks you’ve packed.

Teeth-friendly food trivia:

Strawberries and raspberries are the only fruits with seeds on the outside.

• A banana is technically a berry.

Carrots aren’t just orange. They can also be red, white, purple and yellow.

LOL - A laugh is a smile with the sound turned up. LOL - A laugh is a smile with the sound turned up. LOL - A laugh is a smile with the sound turned up.