27 Oct 2017 Ways to Reduce Your Child’s Sugary Snacking
Sugar may be tasty, but it can wreak havoc on a child’s teeth. That’s because sugar attracts the type of bacteria that leads to tooth decay, cavities, and more. To ensure that your child’s teeth stay healthy and strong, you need to cut down on their sugar intake. As any busy parent knows, however, this is easier said than done. Here are a few ways you can successfully reduce childs sugar* intake.
Look at the Labels
Food labels contain valuable information about the types of sugar found in each product. Parents should be most worried about added sugar. White sugar and corn syrup fall under the umbrella of “added sugar,” and they are distinct from naturally occurring sugars, which can be found in fruit. Your kids shouldn’t be consuming more than 12 teaspoons a day worth of added sugar. Track what your kids are eating for a few weeks, and research the added sugar content of their favorite foods. If they’re eating over the added sugar limit, it’s time to swap out their sugar-filled snacks for healthier foods.
Whether you and your kids are going for a daytrip to the beach or are heading to the park 5 minutes from home, pack healthy snacks at home and bring them with you. This prevents you from buying packaged snacks from vending machines and gas stations, which are often laden with tooth- rotting sugars. Instead, bring snacks that are dentist-approved, like trail mix, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Ditch the Juice
Many parents think that fruit juice is a healthy beverage. While fruit juice has a few benefits, like vitamin C, the negatives often outweigh the benefits. Many fruit juices are loaded with added sugars, which cause tooth decay. Fruit juice is especially harmful if children sip on it throughout the course of the day. Each time a child takes a sip, they’re activating the processes by which bacteria turns sugar into cavity-causing acid. If your kid is a juice lover, limit their intake to mealtimes, so that they aren’t casually drinking sugar throughout the day. This is an easy way to reduce childs sugar* intake.
Up the Produce Intake
Many kids aren’t getting their daily dose of fruits and vegetables. While it can be hard to get kids to eat their peas and broccoli, fresh produce is essential for their physical and dental health. Apples, carrots, leafy greens, and celery are particularly good for the teeth. That’s because they’re crunchy and loaded with healthy fiber. Celery, for example, works kind of like a toothbrush, helping to get rid of harmful bacteria. Carrots help to promote healthy saliva production, which helps to minimize the risk of cavities. Apples contain a type of fiber that stimulates the gums. Eating these foods at the end of a meal is actually a great substitute for brushing your teeth if you can’t get to a sink, as they can help to clear away stray food particles. If your kid is averse to fruits and veggies, don’t give up. Instead, let them try a wide range of produce so that they can find some they like. You can also dress them up. Your kid might not like celery, but they might enjoy it with a dollop of peanut butter on top.