Dear Doctor Magazine Issue 26 - (Page 50)
CONSULTATIONS IN PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY
Snacking at School
How to Protect Your Child's Teeth and Promote Good Nutrition
A Consultation with Dr. Mary Jennings
I am concerned that my child is not getting
good nutrition during the school day.
What can I do?
any parents work hard to provide healthy food
choices at home, only to find that their kids
succumb to unhealthy temptations during the
school day that put general health - and teeth - at risk.
A large part of the problem is the selection of unhealthy
snacks and drinks sold on school property either in vending machines or snack bars. You can help combat this in a
variety of ways.
as a dentist, I am also concerned they do not do enough
to safeguard dental health. For example, sugary chocolate
milk that promotes tooth decay can still be sold as long as
it is fat-free. Also, highly acidic diet beverages that erode
tooth enamel despite being sugarless will still be allowed in
high schools. These include sodas, ice tea, sports drinks and
so-called "energy" drinks (that also contain high amounts
of caffeine), all of which are also bad for children's health.
But first, some good news: New regulations from the
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), called the Smart
Snacks in Schools initiative, will go into effect for the
2014-2015 school year. The new rules set minimum nutritional standards for snacks sold on school grounds and are
designed to promote consumption of more whole grains,
fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products while limiting
calories, fat, sugar and salt (sodium).
The bottom line is that parents are ultimately responsible
for ensuring that their children make healthy food and
beverage choices. How can you do that?
In announcing these rules, the USDA noted that one third of
American children are at risk for preventable diseases such
as diabetes and heart disease because they are overweight
or obese. The new standards will help combat this, but,
50 DEAR DOC TOR
W W W. D E A R D O C TO R . C O M
If your community schools are
selling snacks and beverages
that you do not think are healthy,
speak to or write to your school
officials along with other parents
who feel the same way.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dear Doctor Magazine Issue 26
Dear Doctor Magazine Issue 26