When hunger strikes quickly, your toddler may be attracted to the sugary or carb-laden snacks that are the worst for his or her teeth. Luckily, you can make snack time healthy and easy by creating a teeth-friendly monkey platter that is always ready to meet your child's urge to snack. Here's what you need to do:
1. Use an ice cube tray.
Toddlers have relatively small bellies, and the slots in most ice cube trays are the ideal size to host a range of toddler-sized snacks or finger foods, and that way, your little one always has a range of healthy options at his or her fingertips.
In lieu of ice cube trays, you can use a sub-divided tray or plate.
2. Choose healthy teeth-friendly snacks.
Instead of giving your toddler sugary fruit snacks, candy or sticky raisins, fill your monkey platter with teeth-friendly snacks. For example, fill one compartment with cheese cubes, another with slices of hard boiled eggs and another with plain popcorn. Also, consider cutting up crunchy vegetables such as broccoli or carrots, and talk with your family dentist for more healthy snack ideas.
Unlike sugary snacks that stick to your kids teeth, these snacks tend to be good for a toddler's teeth. Snacks such as cheese provide your child with teeth-strengthening calcium, and when your child chews crunchy vegetables, the edges of the vegetables actually agitate bacteria and debris off your child's teeth.
3. Don't forget the dip.
To keep it interesting, don't just fill the monkey platter with individual teeth-friendly snacks. Instead, also fill it with dips. Hummus has protein as well as calcium, yogurt is full of calcium and positive bacterias, and protein-packed peanut butter is healthy as well. Pair teeth-healthy dips like this with raw veg or crunchy breadsticks.
Remember to rotate the selection so that your child stays engaged and satisified with the offerings. It's also a great way to introduce new healthy foods to your little one.
4. Focus on water.
Water naturally washes away debris from your mouth and your teeth, and ideally, you should keep a water bottle on hand near your toddler's monkey platter.
However, you can also fill some compartments of your money platter with water-based fruit or veg such as melons, pears or cucumbers.
5. Set some ground rules.
Before using monkey platters, set some ground rules so your child knows what to expect. Depending on your preferences, you could opt to leave the ice cube tray on an accessible shelf in the fridge so the toddler can grab what strikes his or her fancy whenever he or she craves a snack. Alternatively, you may require your child to ask for the platter, and at that point, you can bring it to the kitchen table for him or her to snack there.
Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.