Getting your children to eat fruit, veggies and yogurt instead of chips, candy and ice cream might seem as difficult as pulling teeth. But dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych says that it's important to persuade them to eat "smart" snacks to help keep their smiles healthy and beautiful.
You can help your children keep their teeth healthy by stocking your refrigerator and pantry with healthy and nutritious foods. Then follow these tips – compliments of Dr. Wych - whether you're helping your older children to maintain a healthier, balanced diet or just getting started with a toddler.
Be a role model for your children. Your kids imitate what you do, so it's vital that you set the tone for healthy snacking. Send the right message by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables instead of sugary snacks that can cause cavities. And your dentist Columbia urges you to be sure you practice good oral hygiene in front of your children - if you brush and floss after meals and snacks, your kids will follow your lead.
Get creative with snacks. Show your children that snacks can be not only healthy, but fun, too! Prepare tasty combinations that look and taste great, such as apple slices with peanut butter, fruit smoothies, meat and cheese rollups and yogurt topped with granola and bananas.
Involve your children in the shopping process. When writing out your grocery list, ask your kids to think about what kinds of food they'd like to eat. This is a good opportunity to help them understand what's good for their teeth and what's not. Then go grocery shopping together and teach your kids how to read the product labels so that they can check the sugar content.
Prepare nutritious meals. Snacking smart is great for your teeth, but so is eating well-balanced lunches and dinners. Your dentist Columbia urges patients to make sure to add fruits and vegetables to every meal so that their children become familiar with them.
Remember, your kids don't have to give up sweets forever! They can still have healthy teeth even if they eat ice cream or a candy bar now and then. Just ensure that the bulk of the foods they eat are nutritious. Also remember to encourage your kids to brush and floss regularly, and be sure to make regular dental visits a fun and positive experience for them.