Tooth-friendly foods and drinks are also those that are recommended for overall general health. Frequent consumption of high sugar containing foods and drinks can contribute to tooth decay. It is recommended that children should eat vegetables at least 3 times a day and fruit at least 2 times a day. There are number of ways parents can encourage their children to eat healthy;
- Include vegetables and/or fruit with each meal.
- It’s easier to eat healthy meals and snacks if healthier foods are in the house. Make children's choice easier by removing temptation at home. Avoid buying unhealthy snacks such as chippies, biscuits and lollies.
- Encourage your family to drink water and low-fat milk. Don’t buy soft drinks, cordials, juice or sports drinks.
- Place a jug of water on the table at each meal for your family to share
- For variety, try making your own flavoured water with fresh herbs, vegetables or fruit.
- Avoid giving sweets as rewards. Try promting good habits with attention, hugs, praise or small gifts such as pencils, pens, stickers, bookmarks etc.
- Choose healthy food for snacks instaead of sweet food and drinks.
For fun, tasty, easy and healthy meal and snack ideas and recipes, go to My Family Food.
For more advice on the types of food children need to eat to be healthy, go to Eating for Healthy Children: From 2 to 12 years on the HealthEd website.