It’s “Back to School” time again, which can mean busy mornings and stressed parents!
Establishing a good routine and focusing on nutritious choices can have a positive impact on children's overall health and well-being. Here are some tips that we hope will make things easier;
- Energy-boosting Breakfast:
- Look for energy-boosting and high-fibre breakfast options e.g. porridge.
- Porridge made with milk is nutritious; add fruits like banana, apple for sweetness, and cinnamon for flavour.
- Avoid sugary breakfast bars.
- Tooth-Friendly Lunchbox:
- Pack the lunchbox ahead of time to avoid morning rush.
- Include healthy snacks like wholemeal crackers, low-fat Greek yogurt, unsalted popcorn, and veggies like cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sliced peppers, or carrots.
- Keep fruits whole or sliced to minimise sugar release (once fruit is turned into juice or smoothie it releases the sugar in it).
- Homemade vegetable soup in a flask is a good option for older children during winter months.
- Reduce sugary snacks and opt for healthier options.
- Avoid raisins and dried fruits as they can stick to teeth and create a sugar attack.
- Plain water and milk are the best drink choices.
- Avoid fizzy drinks. Even sugar free fizzy drinks can damage the teeth due to their acidity and potential for tooth erosion.
- Oral Hygiene:
- Brush teeth twice daily using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste (at least 1000ppm) from age two.
- Supervise children's brushing until age seven and encourage spitting out toothpaste without rinsing afterward.
- Mouthguards are essential for protecting teeth during sports activities.
- Hidden Sugars:
- Be aware of hidden sugars in foods like pasta sauces and ketchup.
- Check food labels and aim for products with no more than 5g of sugar per 100g.
- Dental Visits:
- Schedule dental check-ups at least once a year.
- Dentists can provide guidance on oral care and identify issues early.
By following these tips, you can help ensure your child's health and well-being during the back-to-school period and beyond. A healthy routine and mindful choices contribute to overall dental hygiene and general wellness.
For more healthy lunch box ideas see SafeFoods "Healthy Lunchboxes" leaflet.