The end of the year is full of holiday celebrations, and usually it’s full of delicious food and treats too. If the fear of sending your kids into a sugar-induced coma has you avoiding holiday get togethers, you’re not alone. Change your family’s outlook on what classifies as a holiday treat by swapping out the sugar-filled snacks for equally festive, but healthier alternatives.

Check out our healthy holiday treat ideas for some inspiration!

Healthy Eating That Gets Kids Excited

It’s not always easy to get kids excited about healthy eating, but there are a few tricks to get them interested in more nutrient-rich options that change the way they view “healthy” foods.

Lead By Example. Changing your kids’ eating habits begins with you. Be a role model for your little one’s and let them see you reaching for the healthy snacks when you’re searching for a tasty treat. Your kids are more likely to be open to trying different kinds of food if you’re eating them together.

Making food fun. If you present your kids with healthier food options in a fun new way, you will change their perspective of what makes a treat a treat. Make a color wheel with a spinner and let your kids spin to determine what color the afternoon snack will be.

Location, Location, Location. It’s easier to eat healthy snacks when they’re right in front of us and visually appealing. Fill the holiday cookie jar with grab-n-go items your kids can help themselves to, and give fruits and vegetables the premier fridge space so they’re effortless to snack on throughout the day.

Fun Holiday Snacks with Less Sugar & More Nutrients

Check out these healthy holiday themed treats everyone is sure to love.

Other Ways to Prevent Cavities During the Holidays – For Kids AND Adults

Before you start snacking, remember to ask yourself what’s hidden in the food you’re about to eat. If it’s loaded with sugar, you might want to think again. Certain sweets can do more damage than others. Gooey or chewy sweets spend more time in your mouth, allowing them to give your teeth a sugar bath and stick to surfaces.

You should also think about this when you’re enjoying any snack. Damaging acids form in your mouth every time you eat a sugary snack, so the more times you eat sugar, the more often you’re fueling the bacteria that causes tooth decay.

Don’t Forget to Brush & Floss

A healthier Christmas means you won’t need to make so many New Year’s Resolutions. Put your oral hygiene at the top of your to-do list and invest in yourself this Christmas.

We’ve said it once, twice, a thousand times. Brushing and flossing is the best way to take charge of your oral health.

Let’s break it down one more time.

Brush – Proper brushing takes at least two minutes! Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and sweep away from the gumline.

  • Clean the outer surface of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth.
  • Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then lower teeth.
  • Clean the chewing surfaces of your mouth.
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue for fresher breath.

Floss – Remove the plaque and food particles in places your toothbrush can’t easily reach and floss daily.

  • Wind the floss around your fingers, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.
  • Slide it gently up and down between your teeth.
  • Gently curve around the base of each tooth, making sure to go beneath the gumline.

Eat Your Treats For Dessert, Not As Snacks

If you do land on a sugary sweet treat, it’s best to eat them as a dessert after a main meal instead of several times throughout the day. Limiting your sugar intake to once a day will be both beneficial to your health, and to your oral hygiene.

Whenever you do eat sweets, don’t forget to brush your teeth well with a fluoride toothpaste afterwards, or at the least, rinse your mouth out well with water to help prevent plaque from building.

Limit The Candy – And Choose Chocolate When Possible

We said it – chocolate can benefit your smile! We don’t recommend switching over to a chocolate-based diet, but when it comes to sugar, chocolate is the better option over other types of candy.

Aim for chocolate that is around 70% cocoa for the best health-boosting results, and as always, everything in moderation.

Ask us about other tooth-healthy treats and care tips at your next appointment!

Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.