DIY Snack Packs: 5 Tooth-Friendly Lunch Box Treats Your Kids Will Love
For some kids, deciding what to put in their lunch box can be a daunting challenge. Leave it to kids to ask for things like bagged potato chips, cheesy crackers, and other snacks high in sodium and other ingredients not so good for growing bodies. But one of the best ways to get kids to try new things is to put those foods into their lunch box. After all, a hungry kid will eat, and before long, your kid might start asking for some of those healthier lunch box treats instead of those processed ones. That said, you might be wondering where to start. Thankfully, the Must Love Kids team has some lunch box treats ideas at the ready.
Sneak these lunch box treats into your kids’ lunch bag and see what happens.
As we suggested above, finding the right lunch box treats can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you have a picky eater. The truth is that it might take some trial and error. So we have put together a few recommendations for you to try. But before we get into the specifics, let’s talk about some of the best choices for a healthy mouth. Be sure to include these types of items in your child’s lunch box, but for the rest of their meals as well.
- Bacteria fighters. Include foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt or fermented vegetables, in your child’s lunch box to promote a healthy gut microbiome, enhancing digestion, immune function, and overall well-being.
- Vitamin C. Fruits such as oranges, strawberries, or kiwis provide a boost of vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system, aids in the absorption of iron, and supports the growth and repair of tissues.
- Protein. Protein-rich foods like lean meats, eggs, or legumes support growth and development, help build and repair muscles, and provide a sustained source of energy throughout the day.
- Vitamin D. Foods fortified with vitamin D, such as fortified milk or fatty fish like salmon, promote healthy bone development, enhance calcium absorption, and contribute to optimal immune function.
- Calcium. Calcium-rich foods like cheese sticks, yogurt tubes, tofu, or leafy greens support the development of strong bones and teeth, aids in muscle function and blood clotting, and promote proper nerve transmission.
Have fun in the kitchen making lunch box treats together.
Now that you know the type of nutrients to include, let’s discover some fun recipes and snacks that you and your child can make together. Participating in cooking can help picky eaters, and it provides a great opportunity for some family quality time.
Making granola bars together is fun, and even though it might be a bit messy, will be a worthwhile activity for kids and their parents. Try either these 5-ingredient granola bars or these chewy chocolate chip granola bars. And don’t overthink the inclusion of those chocolate chips. Not only is it more likely to get your child to eat the granola bar, but chocolate is one of the healthier “candy” options out there.
Trail mix is another great option to make with kids, especially since you can include or exclude just about anything you want. Include nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and more, it is really up to you. Some of our favorite recipes include this kiddos favorite trail mix and this healthy homemade trail mix recipe.
As we said earlier, yogurt is calcium rich, which is great for building strong bones and healthy teeth. And though yogurt tubes are a fast option when you need something fast for a lunch box treat, those tubes can be high in sugar. Instead, opt for making your own yogurt parfaits in advance. You can make several parfaits over the weekend, packing them into reusable plastic containers, so that you have enough to get you through the week.
Either try this yogurt parfait snack box idea, or come up with your own idea. All you really need is some yogurt, fresh fruit and granola. Note: If your child wears braces, opt to hold off on the granola, which can get stuck in between brackets and wires.
Celery Sticks With Sunflower Seed Butter and Raisins
The traditional variation of this snack includes peanut butter and is called ants-on-a-log. However, since peanuts are a common allergy, many schools disallow the inclusion of peanuts and peanut butter items at school. But that’s no problem, because sunflower seed butter is an excellent and tasty alternative. This is another snack that can be prepped ahead of time too. Check out this recipe for celery sticks with sunflower seed butter and raisins on top to help you get started.
Pita Chips and Hummus
Almost every kid loves to dip foods into various concoctions, regardless of what it is. So if your kid is a “dipper,” have them try hummus and pita chips for a healthy dipping lunch box treat. Hummus is high in several key nutrients, including fiber and protein. But not only that, it’s tasty too. And, if you’re looking for the best pita chips, we’re big fans of the Stacy’s brand.
After lunch hygiene—keep those pearly whites clean after indulging in lunch box treats.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial, especially after enjoying lunch box treats, and with these simple tips, students can ensure their smiles stay healthy throughout the school day:
- Rinse with water. Encourage your child to rinse their mouth with water after meals to help wash away food particles and neutralize acidity, reducing the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
- Orthodontic-friendly tools. For students with braces or orthodontic appliances, pick up some floss picks or a water flosser as convenient alternatives to traditional floss, ensuring effective cleaning between teeth and around braces.
- Incorporate routine habits. Pack a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste in your child’s lunch box, allowing them to brush their teeth after eating. Alternatively, they can chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production and help clean the teeth.
Get ready for the school year with a routine back-to-school check-up and cleaning.
Incorporating tooth-friendly foods and practicing proper oral hygiene habits during lunchtime can contribute to maintaining a healthy smile as students head back to school. By rinsing with water, using orthodontic-friendly tools, and establishing routine habits, children can enjoy their lunch box treats while keeping their pearly whites clean. Parents are encouraged to ensure their child’s oral health is in top shape by requesting a back-to-school check-up at Must Love Kids for a dental cleaning before the school year begins.