Diet and Snacking for Children
A healthy diet is a balanced diet that naturally supplies all the nutrients your child needs to grow. A balanced diet is one that includes all 5 major food groups: fruits, veggies, grains, meat & beans and dairy. Children must have balanced die for their teeth to develop properly. They also need a balanced diet for healthy gum tissue around the teeth. Equally important, a diet high in certain kinds of carbs, mainly sugars and starches, may place your child at risk for tooth decay. While your child does not need to give up sugars altogether it is important to serve them in moderations. Sticky foods, such as dried fruit and toffee are not easily washed away from the teeth by saliva, water or milk. Therefore they have more cavity causing potential than foods more rapidly cleared from the teeth.
If your child is not on solid foods yet it is important to remember never to nurse a young child to sleep or put them to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, juice or sweetened liquid. While a child sleeps, any unswallowed liquid in the mouth feeds bacteria that produce acids and attack the teeth. Protect your child from severe tooth decay by putting him to bed with nothing more than a pacifier of bottle of water.
Additional Tips !
- Ask your pediatric dentist to help you assess your child’s diet if you have any concerns
- Shop smart! Do not routinely stock your pantry with sugary snacks!
- Limit the number of snack times! And choose nutritious snacks!
- If your child chew gum or sips soda, choose those without sugar