Kids will be kids. They love sweets. (Who doesn’t? If we’re being honest, even your dentist likes a bowl of ice cream or two.) But as a parent, you naturally worry about their dental care. You want the best for them. You want them to have a beautiful smile and a cavity-free visit to the dentist. And you want to avoid dental emergencies at all costs.
Don’t worry, moms and dads. As your family dentist, we’ve got you. Kids can eat sweet and still eat healthy — if you’re conscious about the sweet foods they eat. Prepared right, delicious fruit with yogurt can please little smiles. And it feels good knowing your kids are eating healthy. Here are our 7 favorite sweet snack alternatives kids will love and dentists will agree are healthy.
When they’re looking for a cool tasting treat, you can’t go wrong with a frozen popsicle. Blend your choice of fruit with water, juice, or milk for a popsicle that’s dentist-friendly. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds or plastic cups. Place a popsicle stick in the center of each. Presto! Your own homemade popsicles that taste better than what you buy at the store.
Your kids get their fruit juice loaded with vitamins and organic yumminess. You get a sweet treat your kids will love that’s also easy on your household budget (not to mention fewer cavities at the dentist office). Yes, please!
Fresh berries are an excellent sweet choice your kids will love more than they realize. They are loaded with natural sweet taste — but their high fiber content means they are actually low on sugar (which makes them dentist friendly to boot). Berries are also rich in plant compounds and have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
“Nice” cream is fruit based ice-cream — a dentist favorite! You can make it yourself by blending frozen fruit with additional yumminess — things like peanut butter, honey, coconut milk, yogurt. Frozen bananas and strawberries make a tasty combo. Freeze the mix and you’ve got a delicious sweet treat that boosts their fruit intake.
Homemade Fruit Leather
These are like fruit roll ups — without the nasty chemicals and preservatives. Run fruit through a blender. Add honey. Spread the mixture on a cooking tray. Bake at 170 degrees. Allow it to cool. Remove it from the tray. Cut into strips and wrap them in parchment paper. It’s a tasty on-the-go snack that even your dentist agrees is healthy!
Notice we said dark chocolate. Milk chocolate is full of sugar and definitely falls into the candy category — not so good for your dental health. Dark chocolate is chocolate that contains more than 70% cocoa and is dentist-friendly. It’s rich in healthy plant compounds known as polyphenols. Dark chocolate is good for your health. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of these polyphenols is good for your heart.
Go easy on the stuff, however. A square or two will do you. Dark chocolate does contain some sugar and its fair share of fat.
Fruit yogurt, especially if it’s homemade, can be an especially satisfying and tasty treat. Yogurt contains live cultures and is low on sugar. Yogurt is high in calcium and strengthens your teeth — keeping the enamel strong. It also balances the body’s PH levels, killing the bacteria that causes cavities and plaque. Your dentist would approve!
Smoothies are a downright delicious dessert that’s actually good for you. The natural sweetness of the fruit is low on sugar and dentist friendly. The yogurt acts as a cavity killer while filling you up. Make sure to use whole fruit, not just the juice. This way, you maintain the fiber, which is good for your teeth and great for your dental care.