As summer starts to wind down, parents everywhere are gearing up for the start of the school year and all that it entails, including the return to packing school snacks and lunches. To help out, we’ve compiled a list of healthier, tooth-friendly snacks to keep your kids smiling this year. 

Check out the list, along with some fun recipes if you’re feeling inspired… 

Send smarter snacks this school year

It comes as no surprise that avoiding sugary foods and drinks is an ideal strategy to prevent cavities and protect your overall oral health. Knowing which snacks are worth packing can be a little trickier. 

Here’s a cheat sheet to help you get started, created and approved by the University of Illinois Chicago’s College of Dentistry. 

From this list, we’ve picked some kid-approved favorites that also help enhance oral health:

Dairy products like cheese and yogurt: High in calcium and casein, which supports tooth enamel, cheese is also low in sugar. The calcium found in yogurt is also enhanced by naturally-occurring probiotics, which can help prevent bad breath, cavities and gum disease. So, reach for some string or sliced cheese, along with yogurt cups or pouches. Pro-tip: freezing yogurt sticks the night before will have them cold and ready to be consumed by snack time. 

Crunchy veggies like broccoli, carrots, and celery: The crunchier the better when it comes to vegetables as the chewing required to consume them actually helps clean the surface of your teeth. Carrots have cavity-fighting nutrients that help keep bacteria away. Make veggie sticks an even healthier and satisfying snack by adding a yogurt dip for those cavity-preventing probiotics and a shot of protein for lasting snack satisfaction. 

Fruits rich in vitamin C: From strawberries, apples, pear, pineapples, rainbow peppers, and cucumbers, the vitamin C found in these fruits help maintain strong teeth; while the antioxidants and malic acid might also offer natural whitening properties. 

While it’s easy enough to toss a freshly washed apple or pear in a snack bag and call it a day, you can also opt for elevate your kiddo’s snack bag with these healthy back-to-school recipes, including apple ring treats and oatmeal chocolate chip skillet cookies (made with way less sugar and loads of whole grains!)

Of course, even the healthiest snack options cannot replace routine dental cleanings and checkups. Contact our office to ensure your 6-month cleaning is on your calendar!