National Nutrition Week 2023

This year, National Nutrition Week falls between 15 and 21 October, focussing on eating a little more veg each day.

We know it can be challenging to come up with food ideas which support your dental and overall health as well as your kids. This is why we have done some of the hard work to help you keep a teeth-healthy diet for you and your family.

Making tooth-friendly food choices

  • Aim for foods which aren’t acidic, sweet or sticky. Foods which tend to hang around in the mouth and stick to the teeth increase the risk of decay.
  • Aim for crunchy foods which require some chewing. These help to support oral development, there is also less risk of food particles sticking to tooth enamel.

10 teeth-healthy lunch and snack ideas

  1. Cut up celery, capsicum, broccoli, cauliflower or carrot sticks to dip into hummus or peanut butter.
  2. Yoghurt or cheese on crackers. Freeze yoghurt so it’s still cold by lunchtime.
  3. Fruit, especially bananas, apples, pears and stone fruits.
  4. Wholegrain sandwiches, cracker style biscuits or oat cakes with a healthy filling. Meat, egg, chicken, cheese and salad ingredients are ideal. Vegemite and nut pastes are other options.
  5. Cook your own versions of healthy bars using rolled oats, (small amounts) of dried fruits, coconut, egg and milk. Avoid packaged muesli or other ‘snack’ style bars which are often high in sugar.
  6. Salads made with noodles, rice or pasta and cut up vegetables and grated cheese.
  7. Savoury muffins made with bacon and vegetables including corn, peas, carrot and zucchini.
  8. Individual frittatas made with eggs, milk, cheese and vegetables.
  9. Homemade pizza on a wholemeal base with tomato, cheese and meat toppings.
  10. Healthy leftovers from dinner the night before. Cook a little extra if it’s suitable for lunch storage.

Supporting your kids through teeth-healthy habits;

  • Pack a cold brick or frozen water bottle in your child’s insulated lunch bag.
  • Check if your child’s school has a ‘no nuts’ policy which includes nut pastes.
  • Involve your child in preparing and packing their own lunch. Use this time as an opportunity to guide them towards healthy eating.
  • Pack your own healthy lunchbox and role model which foods support good oral health.
  • Encourage your child to drink water between meals. Check with your local council to confirm if your water supply is fluoridated; if not, speak with your dentist about the benefits of fluoride supplements.
  • Try not to pack too much food in their lunchbox. Kids can feel overwhelmed by large servings and feel they need to eat everything.
  • Check with the school to find out their policy on chewing gum and if it’s allowed. Chewing gum after meals helps to boost saliva flow, neutralise acids and wash away food particles.

Speak with your dentist and dental hygienist for other tooth-friendly food ideas. Book an appointment today for you and your family and make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy and strong.

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