healthy snack options a-m

Healthy Snack Options:

So, you’re at the park with your kiddos.  It’s summer time so you’ve gotta soak up as much of that vitamin D as possible.  In between pushing a baby on the swing and watching someone slide down the twisty slide, someone is always hungry.  Maybe that’s just me.  I feel like Sadie is in a constant growth spurt.  When you look in my bag of snacks to give her on the run, you will find things like fruit snacks, gold fish, granola bars, etc.  You know.  The norm.  But after my last post on things that can ruin your teeth, I’ve been stressin.  While prepackaged snacks are definitely easier, they aren’t healthier.  So, we are trying to make that switch over here.  It’s going to take some additional planning and Ziploc baggies… but I’ve got faith!  I made this list to help me branch out and not get stuck in a snack rut.  These aren’t just snack ideas for baby girl, they are great for me as well.  We desperately need to better our eating habits.  So here they are.  Healthy snack options A-M.  Yes…. A-M.  I figure I will come up with an alphabetized list.  N-Z to come later, folks.  Baby steps.

Avocados (guacamole anyone?)
Apples (with peanut butter and raisins on top!)
Almonds (put in a bag with raisins and a semi sweet chocolate chips for a healthy trail mix)
Banana (drizzle with honey or agave and sprinkle with cinnamon to curb those sweet tooth cravings!)
Cheese cubes and fruit skewers
Cheese and Crackers
Celery and peanut butter
Cucumber (with ranch, hummus, Italian dressing)
Carrots (with ranch, and hummus)
Dried Fruit
Edamame (add some low sodium soy sauce or sea salt!)
Eggs (boil em, devil em, scramble em)
Figs and goat cheese
Fruit leather
Lara bars (check out this homemade Larabar recipe—delish!)
Melon and Cottage Cheese

Help me out here.  What else can I add to my list?

This post was sponsored by Burg Pediatric Dentistry.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

10 foods destroying your teeth

10 foods you didnt know were destroying your teeth:

In the last post of our dental health series, we talked a little bit about the best food for your kids.  As I was doing research for that post, I learned a ton about all the things we shouldn’t be eating.  Children and adults alike need to be super cautious as to what they eat when it comes to the health of their teeth.  The basics are pretty easy… Don’t eat a ton of candy.  Steer clear of sports drinks.  Blah, blah, blah.  But did you know apples can cause substantial damage to your teeth?  I’m not talkin apple juice.  I’m talkin straight up washed and sliced apples.  Yeah.  I didn’t know either.  Here are 10 foods destroying your teeth.

1. Peanut Butter- Unless it’s natural, peanut butter is full of sugar.  Think of it as a sugary adhesive that bacteria to stick to your teeth.  You know after you have a PB&J and it sticks to the roof of your mouth?  No Bueno.  Bacteria city.  Wash that junk out.  Opt for a natural peanut butter with no added sugar and make sure you brush after eating!

2. Apples and Apple Juice-  Apples are naturally high in acidity.  With constant exposure, that acid will begin to wear down the enamel on your teeth, weakening them.   Enamel basically acts as a shield for your teeth.  If it disintegrates, your teeth will begin to develop tooth decay and cavities.  Now, I’m not sayin don’t eat apples.  Just make sure that you follow it up with water or a good brushing to get that acid off of your teeth!

3. Hard Candy- Of course no candy is healthy for your teeth.  But hard candies are especially rough on your teeth.   Full of sugar, hard candies last for a whole lot longer than a basic candy bar does.  That means that sugar has that much longer to sit in your mouth.  Not only that, but chomping down on candy is an excellent way to chip teeth or mess up braces.  If you’ve got to go the candy route, try something sugar free or something that you don’t have to suck on.

4. Dried fruit- Many dried fruit have sugars added to them.  While they do carry some of the nutrients of fruit, they also have the sticky consistency of candy.  That sticky goodness gets trapped in between teeth and cause a breakdown of enamel.  If gone unchecked, that sugar can weaken teeth and lead to cavities.

5. Potato Chips and French Fries- Speaking of things getting stuck in your teeth, let’s talk starches.  Starchy foods like potato chips and French fries will turn into a sticky dough like substance in your mouth.  You know.  That thing that happens when you eat 20 Pringles in one sitting.  You don’t do that?…. You are a better person than I am.  But when I eat potato chips, I never eat like 2.  I eat more like 245.  And then I taste it in my teeth for the next 6 hours. Gross. Don’t let that starch eat your teeth!  Get it outta there.

6. Cough Syrup-  What is one of the key ingredients of cough syrup? High fructose corn syrup.  When do you normally take it? At bed time.  6-8 hours (if you’re lucky) of prime sleeping time for that sweet syrup to do its thing.  Take the medicine and then brush.  Everybody wins.  Especially your 60 year old self.

7. Soda- This is kind of an obvious one, I know.  High in acid and in sugar, soda is a tooth eating machine.    Even diet isn’t good.  While it might be lower in sugar, the acidity is still there.  Just don’t do it guys. BUT, in the off chance you don’t want to listen to the crazy blogger lady, use a straw.  That way the soda will bypass the surface of your teeth and lessen the chance of cavities.

8. Bottled Water- When buying bottled water, do some research on the pH levels of different brands.  Many bottled waters go through a purification process that will increase the levels of acidity.  Like we have talked about acid=cavities.

9. Pickles and Pickled Vegetables- Speaking of acidity, pickles and pickled vegetables are full of them.  After eating them, make sure you drink a lot of water.  Not that you won’t anyways.  I mean, if you can eat a pickle without taking a drink of water after…. You might not have a soul.  Just sayin.

10. Crackers-  This could go for a ton of different bread goods. Any processed and refined foods breed bacteria and can also cause inflammation.  It can also lead to inflamed gums which can cause infections and different diseases.

I want to be clear that none of these foods are inherently bad.  I’ll be honest; I couldn’t live in a world where I couldn’t eat pickles.  There are ways to care for your teeth while still enjoying your favorite foods.  These foods should be eaten in moderation and then followed up with brushing and water.  I hope I haven’t crushed any dreams or broken any hearts. But, at least your teeth will be gorgeous, right?!

This post was sponsored by Burg Pediatric Dentistry.

the best brain food for kids

best brain food for kids:

Feeding a kid is hard.  A lot harder than I could have imagined.  Half of the time they are starving, the other half they won’t eat anything.  Then, when you do feed them, half of it ends up on the floor and the other half on their clothes.  I have no idea how they nourish themselves at all.  And,  let’s be real, when it comes down to it; it is SO much easier to pop open a can of Spaghettio’s or bust out some chicken nuggets when meal time comes around.  I mean, I don’t want to cook a nice dinner just to have my kid feed it to the floor.  But, like it or not, those little brains and bodies are growing like crazy right now.   And while their tummies might be lovin’ that processed tomato pasta, their brains are not.  I am 100% guilty of giving Sadie the easiest thing I can at times.  Recently, though, I have been making a huge effort to try and give her healthier options.  I want her to see how important it is to be healthy now, so that it is easy for her to make healthy choices when she is older.  Right now kale is all the craze.  People are drinking it for breakfast for pete’s sake.  But, my 2 year old isn’t going to drink kale.  Although they might not love some of the ‘trendier’ healthy foods, there are plenty of other brain boosting options to help your child’s body and mind grow as they should.  After looking into it, here are some of the best brain foods for kids.

Avocado- Not only are they full of good fats, but they have tons of antioxidants.  Sadie loves to just eat them chopped up with a tiny bit of salt, but honestly you could serve this about a billion different ways.  Take the time to figure out which style of preparation your child would prefer.

Serving suggestion: Mash it up and use it as a dip for whole wheat pitas, cucumbers or peppers. best brain food for kids:

Eggs- Chalked full of vitamins, protein,  and omega 3,  eggs are one of the best foods you can feed your kiddo.  Boil them, scramble them, make them over easy.  It doesn’t matter!  The protein in eggs will help keep your childs energy up while keeping their tummies full!

Serving suggestion:  Scramble them with milk and add veggies.

Fish-  Studies suggest that Omega 3s can help boost concentration and decrease symptoms of ADHD.  It will also aid in brain development.  Fish contains TONS of Omega 3 fatty acids.  It also tends to be a leaner cut of meat compared to other options.

Serving suggestion: Use it instead of chicken in most of your favorite dishes!

Berries-  These are a toddlers dream!  Sweet, colorful and just the right size for picking up with chubby fingers.  Berries are antioxidant rich and can help boost your childs immune system.  The more brightly colored the berry, the more nutrient dense it is!

Serving suggestion:  Pair it up with oatmeal or breakfast quinoa for a superfood breakfast

Colorful Veggies-Vegetables are one of the most important and the most neglected foods in a child’s diet.  Try to introduce your child to a variety of different vegetables to get them used to a variety.  If eaten in the proper portions, most of your childs daily vitamins can be obtained through vegetables.  Encourage your kids to eat a ‘rainbow’ of vegetables every day!

Serving suggestion:  Turn eating veggies into a game.  See who can eat the most different colored veggies through out the day.

Oatmeal- Full of protein and fiber, oatmeal is another amazing food that benefits not only the brain, but the body as well.

Serving suggestion:  Throw in dried fruit or even cinnamon as an alternative to sugar and sweeteners.

Sweet potato- These bad boys contain high amounts of vitamins A,B, C and D.  They also contain iron and magnesium which aid in digesting proteins and can also help calm stress. Sweet potatos are a great alternative to a sugary snack!

Serving suggestion:  Slice and bake them for healthy sweet potato fries, or if sliced thinly enough make them into chips!

After all is said and done, the best way to ensure your child builds healthy habits is to lead by example.  Take the time to make changes in your own life.  Your kids love you and will follow your lead.  Show them how important it is to you to take care of yourself.  Figure out ways to implement small changes.  In the end, those small changes will make a big impact!

**This post was sponsored by The Smile Ranch and their fabulous orthodontic team!

how to care for baby’s new teeth


how to care for babys new teeth:

Remember last week when I took Sadie to her first dental appointment?  (If not, here it is.)  Like I said in my post, I learned like 9 million things from that appointment.

Taking care of a baby’s new teeth can be tricky.  I mean… it’s not like you can explain to them why you are jamming a stick with bristles into their mouth twice a day.  Still, it is SO important to take care of their gums and teeth from day 1. I knew that… I just had no idea how to do it.  So, at Sadie’s appointment, I took the opportunity to chat with the amazing staff at Pediatric Smiles of Orem to get the down low on how to care for those baby chomps.

Here are the basics:

If you can’t brush them, wipe them.  Babies can get teeth pretty early.  As soon as you see those teeth poppin through, wipe them with a wet rag daily.  This will keep the sugar off of those pearly whites and prevent early decay. Even if your child doesn’t have teeth, start wiping their gums to clean them as soon as you can.  This will keep them clean without having to brush.

how to care for babys new teeth:

Once baby gets a bit older, brush those teeth with a soft bristled brush (get a baby tooth brush) twice daily.

Don’t use fluoridated toothpaste until baby is over 12 months.  And even then, only use a tiny amount.  There is no way your little is going to be able to spit out the tooth paste after brushing.  So, if they swallow it, you want to make sure they are swallowing a small amount.  Speaking of fluoride, make sure you talk with your dentist about how much/if you should be using it.  Fluoride can be helpful but only if monitored correctly.

Make sure YOU are the one brushing your kid’s teeth.  Kids do not have the dexterity to brush their own teeth until they are over 4 years old, or until they can tie their shoes.  Whichever comes first.

how to care for babys new teeth:

If you put your baby in bed with a bottle, make sure the bottle only has water in it. No milk.  No juice.  Anything other than water will leave a sugary film on your baby’s teeth overnight.  This can eventually lead to decay and cavities.

Take your child to a dentist between the ages of 12-18 months.  Some dentists will recommend waiting until your child is 3 or 4.  Don’t.  If there is a problem with your child’s mouth or teeth, you want to know early on.  We found out at Sadie’s appointment that she is slightly toungue tied.  Had I waited until she was 3, her speech could have been impacted and I would have had no idea why.  Also, if your child is prone to cavities, the dentist will be able to tell early on and help take preventative measures to keep those teeth healthy.

Try a pediatric dentist.  They are experienced with kids!  That’s all they see!  Most of the time, their offices will be catered to the little people.  They will use kid-friendly jargon and know how to make the little ones feel at ease.  Also, a pediatric dentist sees kids in all sorts of different situations; those who love the pacifiers, those who are still on the bottles and even those who suck their thumbs.  They will be able to help assess if any of your child’s habits are damaging their teeth or if all is well. Once you have taken your child in for the first time, continue to see the dentist regularly (every 6 months is recommended).

how to care for babys new teeth:

Try to steer clear of sticky, sweet snacks.  Fruit roll ups, fruit snacks, gum… all of those yummy good things will get stuck in your kids teeth and will be crazy hard to get out.  Once again, sugar=decay=cavities. Stick with fruits and veggies.  That way if anything gets stuck in your kid’s teeth, at least its healthy.

I know that it’s hard not to have the mentality that they are just ‘baby teeth’ and that they will lose them eventually anyways.  But really, the baby teeth will be the guides for the permanent teeth.  If they are lost early because of decay or disease, it can drastically impact your child’s oral health for the rest of their lives.  It is so important for us to take care of those little teeth now and teach hygiene habits to our kids!  Thanks again to Pediatric Smiles of Orem for answering my millions of questions! You guys are awesome!

What tips do you have for keeping your kiddies teeth clean??

This post is sponsored by Pediatric Smiles of Orem.

sadie’s first dental appointment: pediatric smiles of orem


Dental appt:

I worked in the dental field for about 3 years before having Sadie.  Want to know how much I know about kids teeth? Nothing.  Seriously.

Sadie didn’t start teething until she was 11 months old.  She’s now got a mouth full of a chomps and a first time mom that has no idea what to do with them.  I mean… I know you brush them.  But what kind of toothpaste do you use?  Fluoride? No fluoride? Does she go to the dentist?  Is a pacifier going to mess up her teeth?  Does she HAVE to drink cow’s milk for her teeth to get the necessary calcium?  I had no idea.

Did you know that you should take your baby in for their first appointment between the ages of 18 months and 2 years?

I didn’t.

I mean, they only have like 6 teeth.  Why get them checked out, right?  Yeah… not so much.

Sadie and I had her first appointment at Pediatric Smiles of Orem last week.  I wasn’t sure what to expect or how important it was for me to take her in, but MAN… am I glad she did.

Here’s the skinny on the office.

If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Utah County, you can’t find any better than these guys.  The doctor and the staff are AMAZING.  First off, the office itself is adorable.  It’s painted brightly and has a super cool fish tank, TV and train track.  They have a coloring station as well, which Sadie loved.  The front desk girls are so friendly.  I had a chance to talk with both Gemma and Katie and seriously, they act like you are old friends.  I appreciate that.  I hate crabby customer service.

Dental appt:

Once we were taken back to the exam room, I saw a TV in the ceiling playing cartoons and knew Sadie would like it there.  Each room is themed as well.  We were in the Tangled room.  Baby girl loved pointing at all of the wall decals and telling me who they were (and by telling me… I mean she spoke baby Japanese).  The assistant, Stephanie, told me exactly what would be happening in the appointment and what to expect.  She also answered all of my bazillion questions.

Then, Doctor Shepherd came in.  He did an amazing job at speaking kid lingo and making Sadie feel comfortable.    It was a quick appointment where he examined her teeth and tongue and then brushed them.  He also did a check to make sure everything looked normal.  It turns out Miss Sadie is actually tongue tied.  They gave me so much valuable information that I didn’t even have time to stress out about it.  I am so glad I decided to take Sadie in when I did, and to the office that I did.

first dental appt:

In the end, they gave Sadie a balloon and a coin to put in their prize machine (Brilliant idea!) afterwards, and she was such a happy camper!

Seriously guys, I can’t say enough good things about this office.  Thank you so much for taking such good care of my baby girl, Pediatric Smiles!

I learned so much through her first appointment, that I will actually be writing more posts on kid’s teeth.  I mean… I can’t be the only one out there with questions, right?!  I am excited to get feedback and see if you guys like the series!

**This is a sponsored post by Pediatric Smiles of Orem.  Although I was compensated, my honest opinion was given. 

Rad Mom Cool Kid

Rad Mom Cool Kid