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Archive for August, 2014

Mastering the art of school lunches

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August 25, 2014 @ 12:22 pm
posted by admin

It’s almost that time of year….back to school!

While many of you are writhed with anticipation and yearning to be back in a routine, the thought of needing to plan and pack a lunch that your little one will actually eat and not trade for twinkies and coke creates waves of anticipation! Don’t lose too much sleep, with a bit of pre-planning you’ll master the lunch packing in no time!

What parents want: to know their child is eating a well balanced lunch that will fuel their minds and bodies.

What kids want: a lunch packed with loads of flavor (usually sweet) that will have their friends drooling.

So how do you find a balance?

Understanding needs.

Start with understanding the 4 food groups and what your child’s nutritional needs actually are, these change as they age. You can download a copy of Canada’s Food Guide and keep it readily available for reference.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php

Involve your child.

Not only will this create a scheduled time for you and your child to talk and bond, but it will help ensure that what you pack in their lunch is actually something that they enjoy and will be eaten.

Weekly planning.

Set aside some time once a week to plan for the next 5 lunches. There are definitely some things that cannot be prepped that far in advance, but if you have a menu specifically prepared and written out it reduces the thought process needed when packing and grocery shopping.

Be creative.   

saladThis is key!

I mean, who wouldn’t choose cookies and cake over fruits and veggies, not only are they a delight for our taste buds, but visually they are a lot more appealing. With a little bit of creative thinking and a few small cookie cutters, you can turn fruits and veggies into something that will give those sugary snacks a run for their money.

Click HERE for some great….and easy….ideas!

As a parent I am certain you are aware of the health benefits of a balanced diet, but did you also know that what your child eats throughout the day can have a huge impact on their oral health?

Children rarely, if ever, brush and floss their teeth after eating lunch at school. To reduce the risk of their meals wreaking havoc on their oral health, provide them with foods that will benefit their teeth instead of harm them.

Foods containing added sugars.

These significantly increase risk for decay, especially when added to already starchy foods such as cookies, cake and breakfast cereals. On the other hand, natural sugar contained in whole fresh fruits, vegetables, and starch-rich staple foods such as bread and rice, are not as harmful to teeth, and are good for healthier snacks. Consider sticky sweet fruits like dates and raisins to be more like candy and limit them to special treats.

Frequency is important.

One snack to tide a child over to lunch or dinner is OK, but “grazing” — i.e., nibbling all day — is a bad habit to get into. Carbohydrates break down into sugars in the mouth, and sugars feed bacteria. Bacteria release acid that breaks down teeth and causes cavities. Saliva, the mouth’s natural acid-neutralizer takes 30-60 minutes to work, so a snack every hour can mean your child’s mouth is continually acidic and more prone to tooth decay.

Neutralize acids.

Chocolate milk and sugar-free yogurt are well known for their benefits to oral and physical health. Both help neutralize the effects of acids on your teeth. Their high calcium content also helps strengthen tooth enamel, which is made up mainly of calcium and phosphate. Chicken and turkey contain phosphorous, and so do beef and eggs. Cheese also provides these minerals, and contains low carbohydrates to minimize the fuel bacteria needs to produce acid.

This may seem like a lot to consider, but practice make perfect. The more often you stick to a plan the easier it becomes pack a lunch that your child is excited about.

Remember, you are not just feeding your child, you are helping them develop positive dietary habits that will last a lifetime!

The web has a plethora of ideas, and everything can be customized to your child’s liking.  The prettier you can make it, the more appetizing it will seem.

To get you started here is a sample lunch menu for a week. These were found at: simple as that blog

Monday:

Butterfly Sandwich.                                                                                                             lunchbox1

– Make any sandwich your child likes, could be meat, or even nutella.

-cut into butterfly shape

-add some goldfish and fruit as side snacks

Tuesday:

lunchbox2   Wraps:

-Fill wrap with meat, cheese, lettuce and condiment of your choice

– Use cookie cutter to shape melons

– Add sides such as crackers and veggies

 

 

Wednesday:

Home-made Lunchable: lunchbox3

Let your child build their own lunchable, way healthier than the processed variety.

-Include round crackers, pre-cut cheese, and a meat – perhaps kielbasa or tuna/chicken salad

– Add a vegetable and fruit as the side (watermelon sticks are always a hit)

Thursday:

lunchbox4   Sandwich Kabobs:

-use a straw or wooden stick to layer sandwich ingredients

– Include sides such as pretzels, grapes and celery

– make jello directly in the lunch container as a treat

 

 

Friday:

Pizza Buns: lunchbox5

These take a bit more prep and time, but can be made in advance. Get the full recipe HERE:

– Add sides such as cucumbers, carrots, berries and pretzels.

– It’s Friday, so why not add a sugary treat such as a handful of marshmallows.

 

 

Good Luck and have a great school year!!

 

Here are some other sites that we think have some great ideas:

http://www.lovefromtheoven.com/2013/08/19/50-tips-tricks-and-ideas-for-packing-great-school-lunches/

http://www.lovefromtheoven.com/2013/08/09/fun-and-easy-school-lunch-ideas/

http://www.keeleymcguire.com/2013/02/lunch-made-easy-20-non-sandwich-school.html

Top 5 Reasons You Should Floss

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August 5, 2014 @ 2:38 pm
posted by admin

Flossing is a dental hygiene procedure that involves the use of a cord of thin filament to remove food and dental plaque from the spaces between teeth. Compared to regular brushing, this is a more effective technique for prevention of periodontal diseases and tooth loss. Despite this, people often give reasons why they don’t floss. Some people say that they simply don’t know how to floss. For others, it is the discomfort that comes with flossing for the initial few times before getting used to it. However, if you really value your dental health, then take a moment and consider these top 5 reasons why you should be flossing.

1. Flossing is more effective than brushing
If the main reason you brush your teeth is to ensure good breath and to keep your teeth and gums disease free, then know you can achieve superior results by incorporating flossing. Your teeth have five surfaces that require regular cleaning. Brushing only cleans three of these: top, inside and outer surfaces. However, flossing takes care of the two other surfaces that a regular toothbrush can’t access: the spaces between the teeth, as well as between teeth and gums.

2. Prevention of tartar buildup
When plaque builds up in the spaces between teeth, it hardens rapidly to form tartar. This attracts bacteria, which produce acid that eats up the tooth enamel, leading to teeth sensitivity and tooth decay. Tartar accumulation on teeth is quite a hard substance to get rid of, and often requires the attention of a dental professional. However, you can prevent the buildup of such unwanted substances on your teeth by flossing regularly.

3. Disease Prevention
Flossing does a great job at preventing dental health complications. However, did you know that the onset and escalation of other more life threatening conditions such as oral cancer, diabetes and heart disease can be traced to poor oral hygiene? With proper brushing and flossing, you ensure the good health of your entire body system.

4. Saving Money
People with dental problems require more that the recommended twice a year visits to the dentist. Be it for simple tooth filling, extraction or root canal treatment in extreme cases, the cost of some dental procedures can run into thousands of dollars. However, by ensuring proper hygiene through flossing and brushing of teeth, you cut on the number of visits to the dentist and the complexity of any procedure that might be necessary to restore your dental health.

5. Promotion of Good Oral Hygiene
Proper dental hygiene goes beyond mere cleaning of teeth to ensuring the health of gums, as well as prevention of bad breath (halitosis). You can suffer bad breath while still brushing your teeth regularly, as plaque builds up in areas that the tooth brush can’t reach. You can however prevent such conditions by flossing twice daily to remove food particles between your teeth, as well as in the spaces where teeth and gums meet.

The above top 5 reasons you should be flossing give you the power to take proper actions to save your oral health and to protect yourself from worse health complications. We would be glad to hear from you, in case you need further information on flossing, or assistance with any other dental problem. Talk to us today for a chance to solve your dental health issues for good.

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