Swap Out the PB&J to Protect Your Child’s Teeth
Although children may be picky and refuse to eat many foods, few will turn down a peanut butter and jelly (PB&J) sandwich. This easy-to-make meal has a rich variety of flavors that appeals to the immature taste buds of most children. However, it may cause dental damage in many children. The dangers are listed below, as well as some safer replacement ideas.
PB&J Sandwich Dental Dangers
Although peanut butter and jelly sandwiches provide your children with high levels of protein and a rich source of fruit-based nutrients, most peanut butter brands and jellies possess excessive sugar. As a result, a child who eats a lot of these sandwiches is likely to suffer from dental decay, particularly if they have poor dental habits and don’t brush their teeth often or well enough.
Even the bread on a PB&J can be an issue because most children will prefer white bread to healthier alternatives. White bread contains a large amount of sugar that triggers bacteria growth in your child’s mouth. Thankfully, multiple alternatives exist for each ingredient in a PB&J, and these options have minimal sugar to damage your child’s teeth.
Peanut Butter Alternatives
The rich and creamy texture of peanut butter provides a satisfying depth to a PB&J. However, many alternatives will create a similar feel without adding excessive sugar. Several options exist that you can use to create a tasty sandwich that won’t cause dental damage and that your child will still enjoy.
For example, sunflower seed butter is available in many grocery stores and uses much less sugar to produce a very healthy alternative. Tahini, or sesame seed butter, also provides a similar texture but has a different — sugar-free — taste that may appeal to some children. Other options include butter made from soy nuts and almonds. Try to find a spread that both you and your children enjoy.
Jelly and Jam Alternatives
Jelly replacements may be a little harder to find because of their unique taste and texture. However, some children may enjoy thick slices of fruit on their sandwiches instead of jellies. This option is the right choice if your child already likes certain kinds of fruits, like strawberries or grapes. Slice them as thinly as possible and layer them across the sandwich to prevent a choking hazard.
However, you can also create a fruit salsa, which utilizes a variety of cut and marinated fruit that you chill in a refrigerator. This homemade dish should take no more than an hour to prepare. Website Real House Moms has one such recipe, which used strawberries, kiwis, Granny Smith apples, lemons, and butter to create a creamy jelly alternative that should go well on many sandwiches.
White Bread Replacement Choices
Children might find it harder to eat white bread replacements because they may not enjoy breads that are low in carbohydrates. However, many options exist that your child may enjoy. For example, Healthline mentioned a few options kids may like, such as Oopsie Bread. This low-carb bread uses eggs, cream cheese, and salt and doesn’t use sugar to minimize dental damage and other issues.
Other types of low-sugar bread include options made from legumes, toasted corn tortillas, sheets of lettuce, cauliflower bread, and more. Many of these replacements require you to prepare them in advance from scratch, so look up recipes that you think your child may appreciate. Experiment with a few options until your child is satisfied.
Help for Simple Dental Problems
If your children suffer from dental damage due to a love of PB&J sandwiches, please contact us at Dr. Jerry F. Maymi & Associates to learn more. Our experts will help you figure out what problems plague your child and will fight to ensure that they don’t get more serious.