Nutrition and Children

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Your Checklist for Healthy Mouths
A healthy lunch and snack should definitely be part of your child's regular eating habits.

A good nutrition program for your child includes:
  • choosing foods from all four food groups
  • cheese, yogurt and milk, which all contain calcium, a mineral that strengthens teeth and can help prevent cavities
  • smart snacking between meals
  • drinking milk, water or pure fruit juices instead of so-called "sport" or carbonated drinks
  • cutting down on sugar
  • a visit to your dentist every six months

And here are some further links to help you learn more about nutrition and healthy eating:

Reduce Your Child’s Sugar Intake
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that feed on sugar from foods and produce acid that harms teeth. All foods and drinks, except water, can contribute to tooth decay in this way. Here are a few tips to cut down on sugar:

  • make unsweetened, unflavoured milk or water your first choices
  • try fresh or unsweetened canned fruits and vegetables; whole grain crackers and breads when selecting a snack
  • limit carbonated drinks and sweetened fruit juices, as they contain sugar and acids that cause tooth decay.
  • choose fruit for dessert
  • save sweets for mealtimes, when they are less likely to harm your child’s teeth and when saliva flow is greater

Smart Snacking
Growing children and teens often need more than three meals a day. Smart snacking will ensure they have the energy they need to keep pace with their busy schedules

  • limit the number of times a day your child eats or drinks sugars
  • avoid sugary treats that stay in the mouth for a long time, like hard candy or lollipops
  • avoid soft, sticky sweets that get stuck in your child’s teeth
  • serve sweets for dessert while there is still plenty of saliva in your child’s mouth to wash away the sugars
  • drink tap water between meals
  • serve vegetables, fruit and cheese for snacks
  • have children brush their teeth at least twice a day and before going to bed

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Choose unsweetened, unflavoured milk -- or water -- instead of pop or juice
Smart snacking includes veggies, fruit or cheese
Fruit can be dessert too!
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