Foods for Babies Starting on Solids That Promote Healthy Teeth
If your little one has just started on solid foods, you'd probably like to offer them a diet that's good for a growing body and one that promotes healthy teeth and gums. As you slowly incorporate new foods, try adding the following items to the menu to give them a beautiful set of teeth as they grow.
Peaches are great for babies that are beginning to eat solid foods. They are rich in phosphorus, which is important for building strong bones and teeth. Peaches are also rich in Vitamin C, which helps strengthen jaw bones and gums so that those pearly whites stay intact as they come in.
The best way to serve peaches to your little one is to wash the skin then boil for about 45 seconds. Remove the peach and submerge it in ice water until cool, which usually takes several seconds. Cut it in half, remove the pit and some of the meat surrounding it, then puree until it reaches a consistency that's age appropriate for your baby.
A lot of parents offer bananas as a first fruit because they are so sweet and readily eaten by most babies. But they are also packed with vitamins and nutrients that are super healthy for the mouth. Bananas, like peaches, are rich in Vitamin C, making them great at promoting healthy gums. Babies can be fed bananas from a jar, or you can mash them with a fork until soft and serve them fresh.
Because they are high in sugar, you may want to wipe your baby's gums with a damp washcloth after they eat, as well as their teeth if they have any, in order to prevent tooth decay.
A lot of people don't think about serving avocados to their children since they're often perceived as a "topping" for nachos, salads, and burgers. But they're actually one of the healthier foods to feed your baby. Loaded with an array of B vitamins, avocados can help prevent gum disease. In fact, new research has shown a link between Vitamin B12 and periodontitis: the lower the person's level of B12, the greater their risk for tooth loss and gum disease. Avocados also contain Vitamin C and folate—a nutrient that helps repair damage from gum disease.
To serve avocado to your little one, cut in half and remove the seed, then mash with a fork until smooth. To make it more palatable, you can use a 50/50 mixture of avocado and banana.
These are root vegetables that are packed with Vitamin A, also credited for promoting healthy teeth and gums. Vitamin A assists the gums in maintaining the mucus membrane as well as the soft tissue, and it help the body produce keratin, which is essential in the formation of tooth enamel.
Sweet potatoes should be peeled and boiled until soft, then mashed until smooth. Contrary to what you may think, sweet potatoes are not as high in sugar as bananas, but cleaning the gums and teeth afterward with a soft cloth can't hurt.
Winter squash includes butternut, acorn, Calabaza, and spaghetti squash, and all four of them are great for your baby. The winter squashes are high in calcium, making your baby's teeth stronger and helping to fight gum disease. And they also contain high levels of Vitamin C, giving your little one a double boost of nutrients that will make their mouth healthy.
The best way to serve squash to babies that are just starting on solid foods is to cut them in half, remove the seeds, and bake them until they are soft. Puree in a blender so that it's smooth enough for your little one, then serve away.
Yogurt is rich in calcium, phosphates, and Vitamin D—all nutrients that are important in building healthy gums and teeth and preventing decay. But the calcium in yogurt has another benefit: it readily adheres to existing plaque on the teeth, protecting them from the acid that causes tooth decay and helping to build more enamel.
To learn more about which foods are ideal for your child, contact local clinics like Little Peoples Dentistry.