Diet And Nutrition

Dietary choices not only affect your child’s general health and well-being, but also have major effects on his/her oral health. Everyday consumption of sugary foods, beverages, and carbohydrates ( white breads, rice, pasta) and with continued contact of these substances, teeth and developing teeth can develop dental cavities. Good eating habits should start as soon as children are ready for table foods.

Between Infancy and Preschool ages, children should be weaned by 12-14 months from no bottle or sippy cup to bed unless it contains only water, avoid sweetened or acidic beverages, including juices between meals and limit fast food and high saturated fatty foods.

School ages including preteens and teenagers should avoid sweetened/acidic beverages, sport drinks and energy drinks between meal and be replaced with water when thirsty. Candies, cookies, sweetened cereals and potato chips should be given in moderation or with a meal. Limit fast foods, in between snacking (unless it’s healthy snacking) and saturated fats. Encourage sugar-free candies and chewing gum containing xylitol**

Here are examples of food from the 5 major food groups that our children should have daily to maintain good oral health and overall healthy well-being.

Recommended serving for 5 major food groups:

Vegetables: beets, broccoli, carrots, green beans, peas, spinach vegetable juices

Grains: whole-grains breads, oatmeal, brown rice, pasta, potatoes

Meats/proteins: lean cuts of beef, poultry, fish, eggs, peanut butter, beans, tofu

Fruits: bananas, apples, pears, strawberries raisins, 100 % fruit juices

Dairy: skim or low-fat (1%) milk, low-fat yogurt, cheese

Age Fruits (Cups) Vegetables (Cups) Grains (Cups) Meats & Beans (Cups) Milk (Cups)
2 to 3 1 2 3 2 2
4-8 1-11/2 11/2 4-5 3-4 2
9-13(Females) 11/2 2 5 5 3
9-13(Males) 11/2 21/2 6 5 3
14-18(Females) 11/2 21/2 6 5 3
14-18(Males) 2 3 7 6 3

Healthy Snacks:

  • Fruits
  • Low-Fat yogurt
  • Air- popped popcorn
  • Celery stalks
  • Cheeses
  • Low-fat oatmeal
  • Frozen juice bars
  • Cucumber slices
  • Crackers
  • Frozen bananas
  • Sugar-free cereal
  • Baked potato chips
  • Unsalted pretzels
  • Bran muffins
  • Dried raisins or apricots

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