Summer is winding down, which to your children’s un-delight, means returning to the classroom. If you normally pack your child’s lunch, be sure you include foods that are good for their teeth and their overall health. Here are a few healthy school lunch ideas that our family dentists recommend.
Healthy School Lunch Ideas
The Main Course
The main course in a typical school lunch normally consists of a sandwich. Sandwiches can be healthy or not, depending on how it’s made. For a healthy sandwich, use whole wheat or multi-grain bread. White bread breaks down into sugar and is just as bad for the teeth.
Ham and cheese is a good choice since cheese contains calcium, which is an essential element for teeth remineralization. As for the typical PB&J, the jelly can be a problem since it contains high fructose corn syrup. Consider using only peanut butter or use sugarless jelly.
Most lunches also include a snack, which usually consists of an Oreo cookie or a bag of potato chips. For a healthier alternative, try fruit slices from crunchy fruit, such as apples. While fruit contains sugar, crunchy fruits require more chewing, which encourages saliva flow that prevents some of the sugar from clinging to the teeth. You can also consider carrot or celery sticks. Including a ranch dip will make them more appetizing.
We do not recommended juice boxes, even if they are made from 100% juice. Even natural sugars have the same negative effect on the teeth as processed sugars. As for soda? That’s an obvious no-no. Consider a carton of milk. Don’t add chocolate or strawberry milk, which has added sugar.
School Lunch Sample
- Sandwich with whole wheat bread, turkey slices, and real cheese (not the imitation variety)
- Apple slices with cinnamon dip
- Yogurt or sugarless pudding
- Carton of whole milk
School Is in Session and so Is Our Clinic
Silver Firs Dental also recommends the above lunch ideas for children who wear braces or Invisalign because they won’t get in the way of the wires. They’re also safe for newly installed dental implants. These healthy school lunch ideas will keep your kids’ teeth and bodies strong.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Back to School Dental Checkups for the Kids
Everett, Silver Lake, Mill Creek, Bothell & Snohomish