photo of healthy food

Nutrition

Our office is not just concerned about your child’s dental health, we are concerned about their total health. Diets that are unhealthy for the teeth are also unhealthy for the body. Not only do we want to prevent cavities we want to prevent childhood obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. The mouth is the gateway to the body. In the Bay Area we are lucky to have a wide array of fruits and vegetables to choose from year round. Try to choose foods when they are in season and not flown in from South America. Fresh fruits and vegetables will taste better and this will encourage your child to eat them.

DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS

FRUITS
FALL: apples, cranberries, dates, grapes . kiwis, tangerines, papayas,  passion fruit, pears, persimmons, plums, pomegranates, quinces
WINTER: kumquats. lemons, limes, pears
SPRING: apricots,blueberries, cherries,  dates, mangoes, pineapples, plums, strawberries
SUMMER: apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, figs, grapes, pineapples, mangos, melons, papayas, peaches, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries
YEAR ROUND: bananas, grapefruit, oranges

VEGETABLES
FALL: beets, green beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery root, chard, eggplant, kale onions, parsnips, peppers, spinach, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, turnips
WINTER: beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery root, chard, kale, parsnips, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, turnips
SPRING: artichokes, asparagus, fava beans, fennel, onions, peas, spinach
SUMMER: artichokes, green beans, chard, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, fava beans, fennel, onions, peas, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini & summer squashes
YEAR ROUND: avocados, beans, carrots, celery, garlic, leeks, lentils. lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, potatoes, radishes

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, released on January 31, 2011, emphasize three major goals for Americans:

  1. Balance calories with physical activity to manage weight
  2. Consume more of certain foods and nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood
  3. Consume fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains

SEAFOOD
Use Seafood Watch from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to help you choose which seafood to buy or avoid, helping consumers and businesses become advocates for ocean-friendly seafood.

Why Do Seafood Choices Matter?
Nearly 75% of the world’s fisheries are fished to capacity, or overfished. Our seafood choices have the power to make this situation worse, or improve it. Seafood Watch recommendations don’t hinge on any single issue. Instead, they consider the fishery, habitat, species, management, and a host of other factors that affect each species. In this way, Seafood Watch offers a complete vision of sustainability.
montereybayaquarium.org

Frequent ingestion of sugars and carbohydrates are risk factors in the development of tooth decay. Along with increased  cavities, frequent consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and snack foods is also linked to obesity. Childhood obesity has been linked to an increase in Type II diabetes, heart disease, high blood disease, depression, low self esteem, sleep apnea and asthma.

Serve milk or water to young children. Even 100% fruit juice contains  a kind of sugar called fructose. Doctors recommend young children drink no more then four to six ounces of 100% fruit juice a day.

Prevent tooth decay. Don’t put soda or other sugary drinks in baby bottles or sippy cups.

Make your own fruity, low -calorie “spa water” at home by adding strawberry or melon slices to a pitcher of water. Refrigerate until cold, kids will love it!

Did you know?

  • Soda is the #1 source of added sugar in the American diet.
  • Americans spend $56 billion annually on purchasing sugary soft drinks.
  • U.S. teens consume twice as much soda as milk.
  • The calories from drinking just one 20-ounce bottle of soda each day for a year can result in gaining over 25 extra pounds.

Instead of soda, commit to drinking:

  • Tap Water (everyday — all you want!)
  • Non-fat or Low-fat Milk
  • 100% Fruit Juice (limit juice to 1/2 cup daily)
  • Unsweetened Iced Tea
  • Diet Soda (once in awhile)

nutrition and sugar chart

EXERCISE
In the Bay Area we are also very lucky  to have beautiful weather to make it easy to enjoy outdoor activities, most of which are free.
East Bay Regional Parks  ebparks.org

The East Bay Regional Park District spans Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco with 108,000+ acres in 65 parks including over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature study. The Park District offers lakes, shorelines, campgrounds, visitor centers, interpretive and recreation programs, picnic areas, indoor/outdoor rental facilities, golf courses and much more.

Many children now have ‘spare tires’ and ‘muffin tops’ which in the past would not have occurred until middle age.  We have to start developing a healthy life style and eating habits or our children’s life expectancy will be less then ours.

For children to choose healthy foods and exercise more the WHOLE FAMILY must change.  Soda and processed food should be in the home in limited quantities only, if at all. If you don’t have processed snacks in the home but you have fresh fruits and vegetables it will help your family make better  choices. Parents have to model good eating and exercise habits for their children.

Food companies make processed foods cheap and plentiful so as to entice you to buy them. Resist! You may spend less now, but you  will spend more in health care costs later. Look at the list of ingredients on packages foods. Are there more then five ingredients? Can you pronounce all the ingredients? Don’t buy it!  Take the entire family to a Farmers Market.