At Hacienda Pediatric Dentistry, we know that diet is a very important part of our young patients’ oral health. When school is in session, it can be more difficult to make sure your child is getting healthy, fresh, complete meals during the day because many foods won’t last well in their backpacks until lunchtime. Luckily, the middle schools in Diamond Bar offer lunch options in their cafeterias! Your child can enjoy hot lunch at school, with lots of options to choose from. We looked into the lunch menu at Chaparral Middle School to put together this guide to help you talk to your child about making healthy, tooth-friendly choices at lunch time!
The menu options are offered on a regular rotating schedule. For the most part, each day of the week maintains the same menu throughout the quarter. For example, every Monday students can choose from:
- a teriyaki chicken rice bowl
- a breaded chicken sandwich
This regular schedule will help you and you child plan ahead, in case there are days they want to pack lunch because the options in the cafeteria don’t appeal to them.
If your child has braces, encourage them to choose options like pasta or a rice bowl instead of sandwiches, as these foods already come in bite-sized pieces and are generally softer to chew. There is a soft option like this available every day of the week! Daily offerings that are always available like yogurt parfaits and tuna salad sandwiches can also be great soft options.
Tips and Tricks
It is important to get a variety of foods in your child’s diet for their oral and overall health. This may mean packing fruits and veggies as snacks for your middle school to eat at their morning break or to enjoy as sides at lunch. If you know your child really likes strawberries, or is more likely to eat carrot sticks than whatever the veggie option of the day is, go ahead and send them with these snacks! Luckily, sides like these are easy to prep all at once, saving you time and making healthy choices easily accessible to them. When it comes to choosing beverages, encourage your child to choose milk or water instead of sugary juices. Milk contains calcium to help their developing teeth and bones, and water will keep them hydrated throughout the day.
If possible, encourage your child to brush their teeth at school after eating lunch. This is especially important if they have braces. If they are too embarrassed to brush their teeth at school, at least make sure they are performing their full, thorough oral hygiene routine in the morning before school and at night before bed.
If you have any questions about your child’s oral hygiene routine or want to schedule a cleaning for them, call us today to schedule a dental appointment!