August is “Kids Eat Right Month,” sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This is an important topic since back-to-school lunches will be packed and easy after school snacks will be purchased. While it’s important to reach for healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables for the body’s health, it is just as important for dental health.

Children should eat a lunch that includes fruits, vegetables, low-fat protein and whole grains. Encourage your children to steer clear of sticky snacks like gummy fruits, cookies and candy. That’s because plaque is constantly forming on teeth, and what we eat and how often affects the teeth. Plaque’s stickiness keeps the harmful acids against the teeth. Over time, this can result in tooth decay. Frequent snacking means more acid attacks and a higher risk for tooth decay.

For good dental and overall health, encourage your child to eat a balanced diet with foods from the major food groups. For more information on healthy eating and Kids Eat Right Month, visitn the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at www.eatright.org .