Dental hygienist shares healthy lunchbox tips for parents

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Dental decay is the leading cause of childhood hospital admissions in the UK. With many children consuming the recommended daily sugar intake from snacks alone, dental professionals are eager to share advice to help parents reduce sugar consumption and lower the risk of cavities.

Dental hygienist, Tabitha Acret, has put together some simple tips for parents to create healthy, tooth-friendly lunchboxes. Some of the most popular products selected by parents contain far more sugar than many people think, and often items that are marketed as healthy can be deceptive. One offender is yoghurts. Flavoured yoghurts are a popular choice for kids, but they can contain a lot of sugar. As a healthier alternative, Tabitha recommends swapping sugar-laden yoghurts for Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit. 

Sandwiches are a staple for many families at lunchtime, but Tabitha warned that the fillings can spell bad news for the teeth. Instead of using white bread and sugary spreads like jam and chocolate spread, the hygienist suggests trying sushi or making sandwiches with wholemeal bread and fillings such as lean meat, cheese or tuna. Whole grain wraps can also be used to replace bread. 

With rates of decay worryingly high among children in the UK, many parents are looking for ways to reduce sugar consumption. Public Health England has released a healthy snacking guide for parents and children, and health professionals are also encouraging simple swaps like white bread and sugary cereals for whole grain toast, natural yoghurt with fruit, scrambled eggs and whole grain cereals for breakfast and fruit and organic, low-sugar snacks instead of chocolate bars, sweets and crisps. Swapping fizzy drinks for sugar-free cordial and water is also one of the easiest ways to decrease daily sugar intake.

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