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Many foods that are touted as “healthy” are not-so-healthy for your little one’s smile. Excess sugar and unhealthy fat lurks in many unsuspecting foods. Sugar sticks to your child’s teeth and causes tooth decay.

Raw veggies, for example, are generally good for you - until you dunk them in a bowl of dressing with high fat content. Fruit juice sounds healthy in theory - until sugars and syrup are added.

Practicing moderation is important to proper overall nutrition and dental health - especially when it comes to the following foods.

Trail Mix

Trail mix can be a healthy alternative to sweet and salty snacks such as chips and cookies, but be careful when selecting trail mix. Look at the sugar content on the label when determining which trail mix to give your child. A simple alternative is to make your own healthy snack mix at home. Good news - you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for health! Try this tasty recipe that even the kids will love.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is often found in trail mixes and can be purchased as an on-the-go snack. Because the water content has been removed from the fruit, you actually consume more fruit than you would if the fruit was in its original form. Many dried fruits you find on the shelves contain loads of refined sugars and hydrogenated oils to increase their shelf life.

Key takeaway - if your dried fruit contains more than just fruit, it’s best to leave it on the shelf and opt for fresh or dried with less/no sugar!

Granola

Like many of the foods we’ve already mentioned, granola can be healthy, but many granolas you find at the grocery store are packed with sugar, sugar substitutes, vegetable oil, and butter. You can create a tasty, healthy granola at home by using dry oats, unsalted nuts of your choice, cinnamon, and egg whites.

Yogurt

Yogurt typically serves as a healthy dairy treat and a probiotic, which is good for digestive health. However, many of the yogurts you see in the dairy aisle are loaded with dyes and loads of sugar. Yogurt contains lactose, which is a form of natural sugar found in milk, but many yogurts contain added sugar, as well. Food Network advises you to skip it if there are too many unpronounceable ingredients.

Smoothies

Because smoothies are made entirely from fruit, they have the potential to be full of sugar. With the right combination of fruits and vegetables, smoothies can be a source of fuel and nutrients. Choose fruits that have a lower sugar content and opt for water instead of coconut water or orange juice.

Ask your pediatric dentist

If you are concerned about your child’s diet, talk to your trusted pediatric dentist. They can help you make healthier choices for your little one. Contact us today at our Cotswold, Gastonia, Waverly, Davidson, or University locations to discuss better oral health for your child!


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