Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Snacks Kids Will Crave Their Whole Lives

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Thanksgiving Snacks Kids Will Crave Their Whole Lives

In the United States, November is a month of both celebration and change. Sundays are filled with football; plans for Thanksgiving preoccupy our minds; and for most of us, temperatures edge closer to freezing as the sun seems to have better places to be past 4pm. There’s also the sudden rise in the appearance of moustaches across the land as “Movember” launches and men align in solidarity to support men’s health issues – the “Mo” being short for moustache, and all. In the spirit of these two themes (celebration and change), we thought we’d offer-up a few dead-simple, good-for-you food switcheroos to help you celebrate!

Thanksgiving Snacks Set the Stage

When it comes to the perfect opportunity to ingrain good habits early on, there’s hardly anything better than testing out a few new food tricks at Thanksgiving. After all, you’ve got a captive audience, your kids will be starving by the time they get to grandma’s, and most times, they’ve even got their own table! Why not use this opportunity to slip in some healthy snacks and see what happens? Here are two super easy ideas that have worked forever for families all across the land:
  • Fresh fruit: You wouldn’t believe how quickly kids will devour fruit when it’s all cut up into bite-sized pieces. For parents everywhere, half the struggle of getting kids to eat more fruit is overcoming the labor of all the cutting and peeling. You know how good fruit is for them – so if you find yourself in that boat, swing by the supermarket and pick up a fruit platter. Then watch it disappear at the kid’s table.
  • Dips: Thanksgiving doubles as game day for football fans, and with the family gathering around the TV before and after the meal, snacks are going to be in high demand. Moms, dads and kids all love feasting on de rigueur snacks like chips with ranch dip -- but there are so many substitutes that even the staunchest fan of creamy ranch will enjoy.
Hummus, tzatziki, baba ganoush, guacamole, salsa and nut butters will all be received well, so try them on for size. There are also a host of healthier chip options out there too that’ll keep many a chip fan happy. Bean chips, taro chips, you name it – it’s all available. Even seaweed, which is so good for teeth and bones might win a few folks over.

Oh, and don’t forget grandma’s favorite! Fresh carrots and celery. Kids will love the crunch all throughout the game, and you’ll be providing their teeth with self-cleaning fiber that’ll keep ‘em healthy for many years to come.

Festive snacking doesn’t have to be a guilty indulgence – in November, or any other time of the year. Getting your kids to snack healthy this month can help establish a great, healthy habit to last them a lifetime.

Checkout our children daily care page to see more helpful information on preventative dental care.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

5 Teeth-Friendly Ways to Enjoy Halloween

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5 Teeth-Friendly Ways to Enjoy Halloween

Fill those candy bags, October is here! The month every kid across the land dreams could take place every day, and the only day when dressing up and eating gobs of candy is not only allowed but encouraged. Now, that's a good deal for a kid. But what if you're a parent? Everyone knows healthy snacks are the way to go every other day of the year that is not Halloween, so how do you give in a bit and let your children enjoy the festivities while keeping these healthy habits top of mind? Here are five teeth-friendly habits that'll ensure you're still communicating the right message.

  1. Divvy it up:  One solution is to partition out a child's candy throughout the month so it's still seen as a treat instead of something to gorge on over the course of a single week. Since candy has a notoriously long shelf-life feel free to stretch it out as long as you can.
  2. Make a game out of it: Another tip that can work is to use candy as if it were winnings for a certain school challenge, or maybe even in games the family plays together. To make this work, you'll have to get your child to agree ahead of time to the arrangement, but the deal can be a sweet one for them and you. This way, at game time, instead of $5 in Monopoly® money, someone might earn a Snicker's® Bar!
  3. Let your kids play tricks on you: This is another twist on trading out the candy for another time, and it's a way to allow the “trick” in “trick or treat” to last for months on end. Since most kids really don't do much with the “trick” aspect of Halloween, challenge them to come up with creative and safe ways to trick you or other family members in order to earn the candy back as a reward. Your kids can take this as far as their creativity will allow, and your nerves will handle.
  4. Barter:  Adults love a candy jar at work (shhhh …. !), and children of all ages love a good trade.  Offer to trade a bunch of that candy for something else they'd rather have in exchange. This one shouldn't be that hard really, because after a while everyone gets rather tired of what's left in the “trick or treat” bag, and this is one way to replace that cavity-inducing candy with something (hopefully!) more rewarding.
  5. Put some cash in their piggy bank: Every kid loves the feeling of looking at a full piggy bank, especially when they become lender to your late night pizza ordering runs. So, why not have a candy “buy-back” where you offer them money in exchange for a portion of the candy they’re hoarding? Trust us, in the long run, it will be cheaper for you than fixing their teeth.
The goal should be to let them enjoy Halloween, and to show them how to make the enjoyment of the day last beyond its initial weekend. If you make the agreement with your children ahead of time how the candy is going to be handled, you'll have little problems moving forward, and in this way, everyone wins.  
Visit our Pediatric Services page for more information and videos on children dental care.