How healthy is your Child's Lunchbox for his/her Teeth?
The summer holidays have gone by and children will now be back to school before you know it. Amongst the new uniforms, books and their never ending demands it is quite difficult to pay attention in their lunch boxes. But did you really know that their lunch prepared with love by your hands have even greater chances of causing dental caries than school lunches.
To help you out at the start of the coming school year, the team at Doc32 wanted to reveal the top four unhealthy foods that we commonly see in school lunchboxes, along with a few gold star alternatives
SANDWICHES and PARATHA :
The most common of all the lunchboxes everywhere in India is sandwiches and parathe of all size, shape, and fillings. Though they appear easy to make these food items made of rice, bread, pasta or potatoes, white bread in particular revolve around starchy carbohydrates and can be damaging to our teeth.
The starches that are found in white flour are formed from simple carbohydrates. These can linger in your mouth, perhaps stick in between teeth, and break down into simple sugars where bacteria feed and produce acid.
What to do: An alternative to these food items can be wholegrain bread, chapatti, brown rice which are good for overall health also. While they can still stick to your teeth, the rate of growth of bacteria is comparatively slow.
Cereal bars are commonly sold in the market as “healthy and nutritious”. But masked under advertisement very few people notice that besides containing cereals like wheat, bajra etc it also contains natural sugar binders like honey and glucose syrup. These natural sugars are highly fermentable by the bacteria of the oral cavity. Although they may also claim to contain fruits, they are usually dried fruits which again are trigger factor in causing caries.
What to do: Chapatti, dry Bengal gram powder (sattu), multigrain chapati are better to be used.
SMOOTHIES AND SHAKES:
Smoothies, juices and shakes like dried fruits are often thought as one’s way of increasing fruit intake. Whilst it may be true, it also increases chances of caries due to high sugar contain.
What to do: It should be kept in mind to drink it in once rather than to sip it all day, also drinks containing low amount of sugars should be given to children to keep them adequately hydrated.
Another common site in lunch boxes are raisins and other dried fruits. Many people think that dried fruits are easy and healthy which in fact is quite the opposite. . Dried fruits have a high sugar content and tend to be very sticky, which means they can linger in your mouth and in between your teeth for longer than usual. This results in sugar being left on the teeth which bacteria then feeds on, producing acid that causes tooth decay.
What to do: Fresh fruit is always preferable to dried or processed fruit, as the sugar content is not as accessible or harmful. Try grapes instead of raisins.