Back To School? Pack A Healthy Lunch!

It’s that time of year again – back to school! We know choosing your children’s lunches can be hard so we asked our assistant, Ann, what she does!

Photo of assistant Ann
Ann and her children
Licensed and Certified Dental Assistant
Family Dentist Tree

As a parent of three school aged children that love bringing their own lunch to school, it can be difficult to know what items to pack that are health for both their teeth and their bodies.

photo of sugary and sticky foodsThere are of course many foods to avoid, including:

  •  Sugary foods and drinks such as candy, pop and juice. 
  • Sticky or chewy foods such as raisins, granola bars, caramel, honey, and bananas.
  • Carbohydrates and starches such as cake, cookies, pretzels, chips, saltine crackers and goldfish crackers.

These foods are likely to get stuck in the grooves of your teeth and feed cavity causing bacteria in the mouth. Saliva can help wash away foods and sugars that get stuck on and between your teeth; however, it can be difficult for saliva to properly clean off these types foods and sugars.

Let’s be honest though, kids love most of these foods and prefer they are included in their lunches on a regular basis. It is best to keep these snacks small and to a minimum. Always pack water so your children can rinse their mouths at the end of their meal.

photo of healthy foods, grapes, apples, water, milkWith all of these limitations, you are probably wondering what can you put in your child’s lunch?!

  • Fruit with high volumes of water such as grapes, apples, pears and melons.
  • Vegetables such as celery, cucumbers and carrots.
  • Dairy such as yogurt, milk and string cheese.
  • Whole wheat bread and crackers.
  • Meats and nuts.

These foods are lower in sugar content, promote saliva flow, and foods with higher water content can help dilute their sugar content.

Make their lunches fun and convenient by using these tips:

  • To pack a sliced apple without it turning brown, put the sliced apple back together (core included) and place a rubber band around it.
  • Use a cookie cutter to make fun shaped sandwiches.
  • Build your own lunchable with whole wheat crackers, meat, and cheese! Use small cookie cutter for fun shaped cheese.
  • Add a note! Include a silly joke or a fun message. 

What goes in my own children’s lunches?

  • A turkey or ham sandwich on wheat bread with a slice of cheese.
  • Carrots or broccoli.
  • Apples, pears or yogurt.
  •  Milk and water.
  • A Hershey hug or kiss – my kid’s favorite.