Healthy School Lunches for Healthy Teeth in Gainesville

School is back in session, and old routine demands are new again. Daycare dropoff, kids on the school bus, work, kids off the school bus, homework, soccer practice, family time… Phew. It’s a lot, but you’re a pro and you can handle it all. Well, except when it comes to making the best and healthy choices for lunch.

When it comes to school lunches, you’re stumped.

Your kids are already getting tired of peanut butter and jelly and potato chips, and as easy as all that is to throw together, you know it’s not the best. Not with all that sugar. Read on for a few quick, easy (and tasty!) healthy school lunches.

But first, a few helpful tips:

Serve real fruit.

Fruit snacks are a favorite among schoolchildren, but not your Gainesville pediatric dentist. Sticky, cloying sweets cling to little teeth, encouraging the growth of plaque and increasing the risk of tooth decay. Serve slices of banana or strawberries or grapes instead.

Plain milk is the clear choice.

Milk does a body good; chock full of calcium, it promotes bone and tooth health, but adding chocolate or strawberry flavoring means adding extra and unnecessary sugar. You might consider adding a drop or two of food coloring to plain milk to make it a little more fun, or string cheese as a great dairy option for kids who just don’t like milk.

Just say no to starchy snacks.

Potato chips and pretzels and crackers are great because at first glance they seem to be low in sugar. But it’s actually not so simple as that. Simple starches break down into sugar, into a sticky paste that coats the teeth, and can lead to cavities. Healthy crunchy, salty alternatives include sunflower seeds, almonds, hard-boiled eggs, and chunks of cheddar cheese.

Looking for ideas? Consider these healthy school lunch options: