Brush Up on the Facts: Keep Kids’ Teeth Healthy!

April is Oral Health Month.  What’s the big deal?  Good oral health is vital to a child’s self-esteem, sense of well-being and overall health.  We’ve got two recipes that are not only tooth-friendly, they’re kid-tested and approved! 

Last week a friend saw a social media post about Oral Health Month, which led to a great conversation about kids and cavities.   

She hadn’t thought much about how harmful tooth decay could be – from pain and infection, to difficulty eating and speaking properly, disrupted sleep and trouble paying attention at school.  Like you, my friend wants to help her kids avoid dental problems. 

She makes sure they brush their teeth twice a day and takes them to the dentist regularly.  We also talked about the importance of eating healthy foods and limiting sugary drinks, sticky snacks and candy.  I suggested these simple recipes. I recently made them with a group of grade five and six students and they loved them! 

 Mexican Bean Wraps
Adapted from the Child Care Cooks Recipe Book

8-10 small whole wheat tortillas
Toppings such as grated cheese, corn, cooked rice, chopped lettuce or spinach
1 can (19 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 clove garlic, chopped or ½ tbsp garlic paste or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cider vinegar (or lemon juice or water)
½ cup of salsa

Make the bean base: Mix the black beans, spices, salsa and vinegar together. If you want it smooth, mash it with a fork or potato masher.
Divide the bean mix evenly among the tortillas. Add the toppings, wrap up the tortillas and enjoy!

Vegetable dip
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup plain, thick yogurt
1 ½ tbsp cider vinegar
½ tsp dill
½ tsp garlic powder OR 1-2 cloves of garlic

Mix all ingredients then serve with your kids’ favourite veggies.

If unable to brush the teeth after a meal or snack, try one of the following:
  • Swish and swallow with water
  • Chew a piece of sugar-free gum
  • Eat a piece of cheddar cheese 

For more information on oral health, visit the Perth District Health Unit website

Public Health Promoter