Pack Healthy Lunches for Kids
At Children’s Dental Center, we are more than your Indianapolis pediatric dentist. We want to help you in making well-informed decisions for your child’s health and well-being. There are links between good oral hygiene and health. Teaching children to have healthy dental habits can have big impacts on their health over their lifetime. Routine check-ups and cleanings are important, but it is the day-to-day regimen that helps kids have a healthy mouth and teeth. This includes twice daily teeth brushing and flossing but also goes beyond these habits. Healthy eating is essential for oral hygiene as well as for a child’s well-being. With school or other activities starting, life gets busy and hectic.
Packing Healthy Lunches
As you get up in the morning and hurry to get the kids off to school on time, you want to be sure that they are getting healthy nutrition for the day. You also want to be sure that your child is eating foods that want contribute to cavities or other similar problems. Packing healthy lunches, or instructing your kids on making healthy food choices, can help your child get off on the right foot during the start of the school year. How do you pack lunches for your kids that are healthy? You also want to help promote a healthy mouth for your child.
The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that packed lunches tend to be higher in calories and sugar than school lunches. If you want to avoid some of the pitfalls of packing a lunch from home, here are some tips from your children's dentist in Indianapolis.
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8 Tips to Packing Healthy Lunches
AVOID PACKING TOO MUCH FOOD
It makes sense that you want to ensure your child has enough food to eat. This can lead to packing too much food. More than your child actually needs. Assess how much your child eats at home and try to pack their lunch to reflect that as opposed to adding extra food just in case.
AVOID CHOOSING FOODS PACKAGED "FOR KIDS"
Sometimes foods with packaging for kids aren’t the smartest nutritional choices. They often have extra sugar and salt. It is a good idea to check the nutrition facts panel and ingredients list on these kinds of food as well as other food.
BE SURE TO INCLUDE PROTEIN
Snacks are easy to find. But, finding protein rich snacks that are healthy can be harder. Don’t over pack with carbs but include snacks like yogurt that also include 5 to 7 grams of protein.
INCLUDE FOODS THAT ARE GOOD FOR TEETH
Here are a few foods that have been food to promote healthy teeth and mouth. Some of these include: cheese, yogurt, leafy greens, apples, carrots, celery, and almonds.
REMEMBER TO PACK FOOD THAT YOUR CHILD EATS AT HOME
Make sure and focus on providing food that your child will actually eat. You want to provide healthy choices, but you don’t want them to hate the options either. If your child likes to snack, provide healthy snacks instead of large sandwich. If they prefer milk to juice, make sure and give them an option they will like and want to eat.
REMEMBER TO INCLUDE VEGETABLES, NOT JUST FRUIT
Fruit-based snacks can be easy to find. They are also sweet so kids tend to like to eat them. But, be sure to include vegetables as well as children need the nutrients they posses.
PLANNING AHEAD CAN HELP THE PROCESS
Think about a plan for the day and how your child’s lunch fits in with their breakfast and dinner. Also, planning lunches for the week ahead of time helps ease some of the stress in the morning. You will pack healthier lunches if you plan them ahead of time.
PACK LUNCHES THAT KIDS WILL LIKE
Kids tend to make choices by how they look. So making a lunch that looks colorful and fun is a big help.