family enjoys healthy candy alternatives together

The Great Sugar Swap: How to trade your favorite treats for healthier alternatives

Parents, we all know that kids have a natural love for sweets! In fact, you may think back to your childhood when you enjoyed airheads, jolly ranchers, and the pixie stick or two (and maybe you still do). But just like your parents had to be, you are your child’s dental health champions, so it’s important to help protect their oral health while satisfying their sweet tooth. But how is it possible?
The Kids Smiles Team is here with a treasure trove of healthy alternatives that will keep your kiddo’s smiles free of plaque and shining bright.
Let’s embark on our journey into the sweet world of healthy candy alternatives!

1. Encourage fruit and veggies instead

There’s a reason it’s called “Nature’s candy”! Fruit and vegetables are a great way to satisfy your kiddo’s sweet tooth while promoting a healthy smile. What, how? Our instinctual urge for sweets is actually our body’s way of telling us we need more calories. Back in our hunter-gather days, plucking an apple or orange from the tree was a tasty and quick way to do so. Use this spin to encourage your child’s imagination while teaching them about nutrition and how it affects their dental health. You can help them “hunt” for snacks in the kitchen while explaining how fiber and vitamins help their body and teeth grow strong. Here’s a few healthy candy alternatives using fruit and vegetables:
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Watermelon
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
Note: Slice up these fruits and serve with vanilla yogurt for a dipping treat. Hummus or a homemade veggie dip can be paired with their veggies too!

2. Try offering them a yogurt parfait

Your kid doesn’t feel like dipping or is craving a more filling snack? Throw their favorite fruits into a bowl of yogurt and top it with crushed nuts. This is a great way to incorporate vitamins, fiber, and protein into your kiddo’s diet. Plus they just might like layering and adding their own flair to it.

3. Nuts and chocolatey goodness

Speaking of nuts…these can be good healthy snack alternatives to sweets! Break out your container of mixed nuts and bags of raisins or craisins for your child to create their very own snack container. If they want more sweet to their nut mix, encourage them to add dark chocolate chips to the mix as well!
These will not only satisfy their sweet tooth but help your child get healthy fats, nutrients, and antioxidants into their diet. If your child gets bored of these, offer to help them make “turtles” using nuts, raisins, and drizzled dark chocolate!

4. Cool off with frozen treats

Sometimes situations call for a cooler snack (especially in Florida). You can blend up their favorite fruits and pour the mixture into popsicle molds for a nice frozen treat to enjoy later. If your kiddo isn’t an ice pop fan, add a little yogurt to the blended fruit mixture and offer them a smoothie.

Still have questions about healthy alternatives to sweets?

Try out these candy alternatives for your child! It’s important to also still encourage proper brushing and flossing for your kiddos as well as helping them reduce their high-sugar consumption. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about your child’s dental health care.
Looking for an expert pediatric dentist in Tampa Bay? Request your child’s appointment with us today.