Tips from our fab team for making great school lunches.
Keep your kids smiling at school with the tips our Fab dental team have come up with!
Say no to sugar
When shopping, read the labels of the food that you're tempted to buy as lunchbox fillers, and avoid those that have any form of sugar as one of the first three ingredients (this normally means there is a lot of sugar in that product).
Water, water and more water
Water is simple, healthy and, best of all, free! It's readily available at school, so make sure you include a water bottle when sending your kids off to school.
Fresh is best
Fresh fruit contains micronutrients and is a healthier choice than higher sugared treats like fruit bars, dried fruit or fruit juice. Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend 1-3 serves of fruit a day, depending on the age of the child. Vegetables are also a brilliant, tooth-friendly food! Kids should have 2-4 serves of vegetables every day, and adults need 5. Learn more here.
Stay away from starch
Don't get fooled into believing that chips are a better choice for teeth than sugary foods! Starchy foods like chips, white bread, popcorn and savoury crackers contain carbohydrates which dissolve in the mouth and can contribute to tooth decay. This article from the Australian Dental Association explains more.
- Bulk up a ham or tuna sandwich with vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, grated carrot, or cucumber.
- Provide fresh sticks of carrots, celery, cucumber or capsicum with a little tub of hummus.
- Send a thermos of delicious home-made vegetable soup, vegetable curry or stir fry.
- Cut up some cheese - according to this article, cheese is one of the most tooth-friendly options as it stimulates the flow of saliva, which helps protect your teeth.
- Surprise your child with an occasional treat - perhaps once a week pop a sugary treat into their lunchbox as a surprise.
If your kids start to wonder why their lunchboxes look different to their peers, take the time to explain why and help them to learn healthy habits that will keep them feeling full and their smiles bright!