Summer is here which means trips to the pool, outings at the park and road trips to visit family and friends. So what do all of these summer excursions have in common? Kids will be hungry, but healthy snacks aren’t always available at concession stands and drive-thru windows. So what’s a parent to do? Dr. Tikson has some suggestions for healthy snacks that are great for kids’ teeth and easy to take on-the-go.
Some Facts about Children’s Teeth and Sugar
- Tooth decay is currently the most common childhood disease.
- 20% of children in the U.S. have one decayed tooth that is untreated.
- Sugar is addictive. When eaten, it activates the dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine then activates the “reward center” of the brain. So, when your child eats sugar, they will have a giddy feeling of excitement for a short amount of time.
Dr. Tikson recommends these alternative snacks instead of the many processed and sugary options on supermarket shelves today:
- Celery and Hummus
Hummus and celery are a perfect match. Celery acts as a natural stain remover for your children’s teeth while hummus provides a large amount of protein, iron, and fiber.
- Bananas and Peanut Butter
Bananas are packed with potassium while peanut butter is a great source of protein and fiber. Make sure to read the label when buying peanut butter, as many companies add high fructose corn syrup or other additives that are bad for your children’s dental health. Even better, buy peanut butter that only has one ingredient—peanuts.
- Apples and Cheese
As the English proverb goes: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Today, there are 7,500 types of apples grown throughout the world. That’s a large variety of apples to choose from. So, pick up one of these fruits, which are high in antioxidants and fiber, and pair them with your child’s favorite kind of cheese, which will add protein to the mix.
Your child will love this summer fruit favorite. Watermelon is a great source of antioxidants and vitamins A, B6, and C. And, if your child does not drink enough water, this fruit will help them hydrate under the warm summer sun.
So, whether your child loves playing video games indoors or going to an amusement park like Cedar Point, you can skip the bags of processed foods and the concession stand line and provide treats that are satisfying and healthy. And, in the process, you will promote good dental health, ensuring your child is happy and healthy for years to come.