Preventative Dental Care for School Children
It's easy to get stuck in a rut with lunchboxes, especially if children insist on having the same sandwich filling day after day. Changing a few items in a lunchbox over the course of a week can help to provide a range of important nutrients and encourage children to try new foods.
With a little careful planning, a healthy lunchbox can be prepared in a few minutes. Don't forget that the contents of a lunchbox have to survive until the middle of the day and by that time, may have been dropped a few times! there are many novelty lunchboxes and bags to choose from, but remember a plain plastic box does the job just as well.
Lunchbox ideas to aid in the good oral health of school children include:-
- Sandwiches are an easy choice for a packed lunch. To give a little variety, try different breads and rolls such as wholemeal, granary, poppy seed, sesame seed, pitta bread, bagels and baps. Try some breadsticks or crackers too.
- For sandwich fillings include ham, turkey, chicken, fish, egg, banana, Edam, mozzarella or cottage cheese.
- Add plenty of salad, but avoid too much mayonnaise or salad cream as these are high in fat.
- Home-made pasta and rice salads are ideal for packed lunches.
- Included some chopped raw vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, peppers or cherry tomatoes.
- An apple a day can soon become boring so include a variety of fruit. choose fruits that are in season as this will be more economical.
- Include a pot of fruit salad as a change to a whole fruit. try some dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas, mango or apricots.
- For a dessert include milk-based puddings such as yoghurt, fromage frais, a small pot of custard or mousse.
- Choose fruit scones, pancakes or fruit loaf as healthier alternatives to sweets and chocolate.
- Use fun-sized chocolate bars but encourage children to keep these for lunchtime, not as a snack.
- For a drink include milk or water. Small cartons of pure fruit juice are easy to transport but remember these should be diluted to 1 part juice to at least 2 parts water.
- Squashes should be diluted to 1 part juice to at least 8 parts water.