Snacking between meals is something most dentists advise against if you want to keep your pearly whites healthy, but on special occasions and holidays, it’s hard to resist a nibble here and there. Some foods are tooth friendly, and if you choose from these, you can make festive treats for you and your family to enjoy without worrying about tooth decay. Low-acid fruits, eggs, cheese and plain popcorn are some ingredients you can use to make healthy holiday snacks.
As well as being a tasty snack food, cheese reduces acidity in the mouth and so also reduces the risk of acid erosion. Eating cheese after drinking wine or consuming acidic food can return your mouth’s pH to a non-harmful neutral or alkaline level.
To give your cheese nibbles a holiday theme, make them into cheesy reindeer. Push two mini pretzels into two corners of a cheese triangle to make the reindeer’s antlers, and add halved olives for eyes and half a cherry tomato to make Rudolf’s nose.
Though fruit is a healthy holiday snack, to protect your teeth you should stick to strawberries, bananas, watermelon, coconut, cranberries, cantaloupe, mangoes and other low-acid fruits when making your festive morsels.
Strawberry Santas are quick and simple to make and look great. Slice off the base of a strawberry so that it stands firmly, and slice off the top quarter. Add a squirt of whipped cream, and replace the top quarter to make Santa’s hat. A couple of chocolate sprinkles provide the eyes, and a tiny blob of cream on the very top of the strawberry adds a fluffy bobble to Santa’s hat.
Eggs are little parcels of healthy nutrition, and they don’t harm your teeth. Get creative with eggy tidbits in the holiday season by making spinach omelets and cutting them into Christmas trees with a shaped cookie cutter when they’ve cooled. If you’re feeling especially artistic, make boiled-egg snowmen. Slice the base off a large boiled egg so that it stands on a flat surface, and use a frosting pen to draw eyes, nose and buttons. Cut the top and bottom from a black olive, and push a toothpick through it and into the egg to make the snowman’s hat.
Plain popcorn can be decorative and delicious with a little preparation. For a quick and effective spruce up, dust freshly popped popcorn with cinnamon just before serving. If you have more time on your hands, separate the popcorn into three or four portions, and shake a different color of edible glitter over each portion. Take a needle and a thread that’s knotted at one end, and thread alternating patterns of colored popcorn into a long, decorative string.
With a little imagination, you can turn most tooth-friendly foods into healthy holiday snacks. Nuts, lean meat and vegetables are some more ingredients you can include in your nibbles without harming your family’s or friends’ dental health. By sticking to foods that don’t stick to your teeth, you can enjoy the holiday season and not worry about dentist visits in the new year.