The new school year is here, and that means it’s time to decide what to pack for your child’s lunch. As a parent, you want to make sure they have the healthiest lunch possible, and that means options like granola and dried fruit. Or does it? Some foods that seem healthy can actually wreak havoc on your little one’s teeth. Let’s take a closer look at 5 foods that your children’s dentist says are actually bad for little teeth.
1. Trail Mix
Trail mix can make a great substitute for a sugary candy bar, and the nuts are an excellent source of protein. However, watch out for the ingredients in the trail mix you pack for your kid. Some mixes come with bits of chocolate, candy, and dried fruit, which are chock full of sugar and can cause tooth decay.
2. Dried Fruit
Fruit is always a better alternative to other sugary snacks, but make sure it’s in its natural state. Dried fruit contains so much more sugar and calories than regular fruit, so it drastically increases your kid’s chances of getting cavities. If you’re going to pack fruit for your little one’s lunch, make sure it’s the natural version.
Fruit and non-fat Greek yogurt both come jam-packed with health benefits, so putting them together can only be a good thing, right? Most of the time, yes. However, you have to be careful to watch the amount of fruit you put in your smoothie. Avoid fruits with high sugar content, such as:
4. Sports Drinks and Flavored Water
“Nutritional” water is marketed as a great way to refuel after a workout, but it’s actually not good for you in the slightest. They’re just too sugary to be considered healthy in any way. Stick to packing a bottle of regular water in your kid’s lunch bag. It may not taste as great, but it will actually provide some health benefits and not cause cavities.
Sports and energy drinks aren’t any healthier, even if they are advertised as much. This is actually false advertisement, since they contain about the same amount of sugar as a can of cola. Again, the healthiest drink for your child is just plain water. It will do a much better job of refueling them after physical activity.
5. Granola Bars
Like everything else on this list, granola is presented as a healthy alternative to sugar snacks without most people knowing that it contains lots of sugar. Granola bars typically have chocolate chips and lots of other added sugar and calories. When your child eats them, he or she may become hungry and overeat later on because of the blood sugar spike they’ll get from consuming that much sugar at once.
Parents always want what’s best for their children. Make sure you look at food labels carefully to avoid giving them too much unnecessary sugar.
About the Author
Dr. James Moreau is a family dentist who graduated from Louisiana State University School of Dentistry in 1980. He has served in leadership positions within the American Dental Association and has been named one of New Orleans’ Top Dentists every year. To learn more about how to take care of your child’s teeth, visit his website or call (985)-809-7645.