When our kids are just starting out in life it’s important to give them the best shot at healthy development possible – and this involves taking good care of their teeth and gums. Now, we all know that we should be helping them learn good brushing habits and trying to avoid sugar, but we thought we’d take a look at the foods that we should be avoiding giving them. You might find that there are some unlikely culprits in this list that can damage your toddler’s teeth! Check them out to see what you should be avoiding serving…
This one is a bit of a no brainer. Lollies are packed full of sugar, which is the enemy of healthy teeth and gums. Lollies, whether they’re hard or soft are something that you should be actively avoiding giving to your toddler. Now, for people who have a bit of a sweet tooth themselves, this can be a good chance to cut lollies out of your own diet. After all, monkey see, monkey do…
2. (Whole) Nuts
Nuts are a great source of protein for growing bodies. However whole nuts can be very dangerous to children. Not only can they be difficult to chew for little teeth, but they also pose a choking risk to young children. Instead of whole nuts, either finely chop or crush nuts up before giving them to your child. They can be mixed in with, or sprinkled on other things, like chopped bananas, or whole wheat pancakes.
3. All White Foods
Speaking of whole wheat, here is an unlikely source of sugar – refined or processed grains, such as white bread, white flour, and white rice. These type of foods may contain more sugar than you think. These type of grains can also be very starchy and stick to little one’s teeth. If this settles on the teeth it can help bacteria to grow. This is why it’s better to go for wholegrains when picking your child’s carbohydrates.
4. Dried Fruits
We’ve been taught that your kids should be getting plenty of fruit and veggies, but did you know that dried fruits are actually packed full of sugar? While your kids may prefer dried fruits, as they’re a sweet treat, it is always desirable to choose fresh fruits over dried fruits in any given situation. If they do have dried fruits, make sure to brush teeth afterwards to remove the sticky fruit that can get caught between teeth.
Whether it’s hot chips or packet chips, if you have purchased processed chips for your child there could be a lot more sugar lurking in them than you think! For kids that are chip obsessed a good alternative to fast food French fries or potato chips is to make your own at home in the oven, by slicing up potato. Drizzle with a little olive oil and you can be assured that it’s just potato and a splash of oil lurking.
6. Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruits, while good for you, are also very acidic. This means that they can eat into teeth if teeth are not brushed immediately afterwards. It’s also preferable to serve citrus fruits alongside other fruit or foods, to help wash the acidity away. Make sure that your child isn’t just munching on oranges non-stop without brushing their teeth throughout the day.
7. (Some) Breakfast Cereals
Breakfast cereals make morning and breakfast time a whole lot easier because they’re good to go in two seconds flat. Served with whole milk to help develop strong teeth, they can be a great start to the day. However, in lots of cereals, you’ll find that there is a tonne of added sugar. Try instead plain instant porridge, or Weetbix, which don’t have hidden sugars, and always check the back of packages. Serve with fruit for a bit of sugar if necessary.
Growing up, it seems like there is a never ending supply of birthday parties to attend, whether it’s your child’s own party or if it’s friends and families. And you know what always comes with birthday parties? A Cake of course! Now while we’re not saying that you should deny your child a slice of cake at a birthday, what we are saying it that you should limit cake to birthdays only. Cake shouldn’t be a regular treat, it should be just for very special occasions only – which will also make that cake all the more delicious when they get to have a slice on birthdays!