There aren’t many tooth-friendly meals you can buy at supermarkets or fast-food chains. But you can control what your kids eat by providing them with nutritious meals at home.
Family eating at table – Image Courtesy of Pexels
Learn to Cook at Home
Don’t feel bad if you don’t know how to do this yet. About 25% of parents either don’t or can’t cook for their kids. Fortunately, kids like simple meals. So the best foods for you are spaghetti and meatballs, fish and chips, and noodle stir-fries. But the good thing about learning to cook is that you can avoid going to the dentist because you can control what goes into your food. When you buy ready-made meals, they have too much salt, sugar, and fat to make them taste better.
Cut Out Acidic Ingredients
It’s good that you give your kids fruit that is still fresh. Fresh fruit is full of vitamins and minerals that their bodies and minds need to grow. But acidic fruits like oranges, lemons, and even grapes are full of acids that are bad for teeth and wear them down. And fruit juices have even more of these than whole fruits. So, even though you mean well when you give your kids a lot of fruit, giving them too much of some kinds could hurt them more than help.
Replace Sugar and Salt for Tooth-Friendly Meals
Sugar and salt improve the taste of foods and flavors so much that they can make almost anything taste good. Because of this, there are a lot of them in ready-made meals, fast food, and TV dinners. Compared to meals made at home, these look like they are of very low quality. When fresh food is cooked at home, the natural flavors of the food come through. But you don’t have to add more if you use fresh herbs, honey, and natural sweeteners.
Include Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D and calcium are very important for healthy bones and teeth. Additionally, not many foods have vitamin D. And kids rarely like the ones it is in. Also, your child might not be able to eat milk or cheese because of lactose intolerance. Still, you can buy juices that have vitamin D added to them and try tuna sandwiches. Lactose-free diets tend to have less calcium. But yogurt has much less lactose than milk, yet has enough calcium.
Consider What they Drink
Kids need a drink. But as mentioned, some fruit juices are very acidic and can wear down your teeth. So you should be careful with them. And we all know that soda is bad for us because it has things like high fructose corn syrup and sugar. But you should know that carbon doesn’t hurt your teeth in any way. The bad things are the things that give the drink flavor. So you could try giving your kids carbonated water so they can enjoy the fizz without getting sick from soda.
You aren’t likely to find many tooth-friendly meals for your kids where you shop for groceries. But you can make your own meals, replace salt and sugar and watch what they drink with food.