A Go-To Snack Guide

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Grocery shopping can be a feat.  Successfully grocery shopping with your kids in tow is an even bigger feat, especially when you’re getting requests for sugar-frosted, sticky, hyper-inducing treats! 

As a parent, you desire to achieve a harmonious balance - fill your kid’s tummy with healthy, nutrient-packed food and enjoy some “treats” in moderation along the way.  Often, the hardest time to accomplish this first task is during snack times. 

You’re caught suddenly by the all too familiar, “I’m hungry” line (only an hour after lunch, no less...sound familiar?) and you find yourself on the spot trying to find something that will satisfy.

But what kind of snacks are considered healthy and not so healthy when it comes to your child’s teeth?  Some of the answers may surprise you.

We have compiled a list of snack choices below that guide you toward teeth-friendly choices and those to limit/avoid.  No, we’re not at the North Pole, but we do keep a “nice” and “naughty” list when it comes to snacks.

Snacks to encourage that are usually safe for teeth:

Fresh Fruit

Apples, Oranges, Bananas, Peaches, Plums, Nectarines, Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries,

Grapes, Kiwi, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Mango, Papaya, Grapefruit, Cherries

Fresh Vegetables

Baby Carrots, Red & Green Pepper Slices, Celery, Radishes, Cucumbers Slices, Raw Turnip Sticks, Fennel Slices, Broccoli and Cauliflower Florets, Edamame

Cheeses/Proteins

Meat Slices, Hard-Boiled Eggs, Hard Cheese, String Cheese, Cheese Cubes

Party Snacks

Fresh Roasted Chestnuts, Pistachio Nuts, Fruit with Yogurt Dip, Popcorn, Pickles, Olives

 

Snacks that are harmful to teeth and promote cavities*:

Candy

Gummy Candies, Hard Candies, Fudge, Caramels, Caramel Popcorn, Candy Apples, Lollipops, Peanut Brittle, Candy Bars, Toffee

Snack Foods

Potato Chips, Dried Fruit (including raisins), Sweetened Cereals, Soda

Lunch Box Items

Fruit Filled Bars, Snack Cakes, Crackers (including graham or soda), Peanut Butter, White Bread

Desserts

 Ice Cream, Cookies, Cake, Pie, Popsicles, Gelatin, Desserts, Marshmallows

*Please note that the best time to give these foods is at the end of a meal.  Your child has already been eating carbohydrates, and of course, you will be more likely to brush the bad carbohydrates off right after a meal. 

** Consuming drinks other than water between meals is like having a snack.  Try to encourage drinks like milk and juice to accompany meal time instead of snack time.