A balanced diet is an important factor in maintaining a healthy body. As children grow their nutritional needs change but the specific foods that provide the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are basic. Children get protein from the meats and poultry that they eat. Fruits and vegetables provide fiber and the calcium that is so important for the development of bones and teeth. Whole grain breads are excellent sources of iron and the B vitamins, while dairy products supply vitamin D and more calcium.

While sugar and starches are invaluable to the process of cell and tissue growth in our bodies, the quantities and the sources that supply them should be monitored. When the sugar or starch from the foods our children ingest mix with the bacteria that forms from the plaque buildup in their mouths it can spark the beginning of tooth decay.

There are ways that parents can reduce the bad effects from sugar and starch and still include them in a healthy diet. We all know that candy and soft drinks are loaded with sugar so parents try to limit the amounts of these obvious offenders. The surprise comes when we realize the amount of sugar in some of the foods that we have always considered to be safe. Ketchup for instance, is generously laced with sugar and processed foods such as the popular “on-the-go” snacks are also high in sugar content.

Talk to Dr. Kathy Kaelin of Kaelin Pediatric Dentistry and learn how to get your kids to enjoy healthier snacks. Call Dr. Kaelin @ 303-805-8266.