Coming up with healthy, tasty and kid-friendly lunches can be a challenge, as every parent knows. Keeping these lunches tooth-friendly as well can make it even more of a challenge!
Be careful of so called health bars, muesli bars, fruit roll-ups and dried fruit as they contain large amounts of concentrated sugar in the form of raw sugar, glucose, honey or a combination. The sugar in these products tends to stick to teeth and get trapped between teeth, just like confectionary, and put teeth at risk of tooth decay.
As a general rule starchy biscuits/crispbread are better for teeth than sweet biscuits.
Juices, sports drinks and cordial are high in sugar and are acidic. These drinks increase the risk of decay and tooth erosion. Erosion is the irreversible loss of tooth structure mainly caused by the acids in our diet. Try to limit these drinks to main meal times. It is ideal for children to only have water between meals.
Dairy products like cheese, milk and yoghurt are great for snacks. Fresh is often best with fresh fruit and veges being a great choice.
Filling the lunchbox with a variety of healthy foods including fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, meat and dairy products will keep school lunches less boring and promote childrens’ general and dental health. We have compiled a list of ideas which we hope will help take some of the difficulty out of school lunches.*
- Cream cheese, chopped celery or grated carrot?
- Grated cheese, carrot, lettuce?
- Roast meat (beef, lamb or pork) with grated carrot, chopped lettuce and tomato / tomato sauce?
- Lean ham, cheese and pineapple?
- Baked beans and grated cheese?
- Avocado, bean sprouts and tomato?
- Chopped egg, cucumber and lettuce?
- Bananas mashed with ricotta cheese?
- Tuna or salmon with mayonnaise?
- Rissoles, homemade meat patties and tomato or tomato sauce
- Rice cakes, crispbreads or cracker biscuits with cheese
- Salad with cheese or lean meat?
- Homemade fruit salad
- Yoghurt, cheese cubes or sticks
- Homemade pizza, quiche, frittata? or zucchini slice
- Noodles or rice with chicken and vegetables?
- Rissoles, meatballs or kebabs with vegetable sticks
- Sushi rice rolls with avocado and tuna?
- Vegetable sticks with dips
Always place a piece of fresh fruit in the lunchbox – apple, pear, melon pieces, grapes, bananas etc are good.
Water is best and can be in a frozen bottle to keep food cold (especially if the lunch box contains dairy products, meats or eggs…)
* Please take note of any allergen restrictions at your school.