Holiday Snack Ideas with No Added Sugar
As we come closer to the holiday season, alas, even our dental office is bursting at the seams with gifted chocolates, home-baked cookies as well as candies (and no, we're not complaining - some of us got into dentistry because of our sweet tooth :D :D :D!) And that doesn't even cover the festive limited-time sugary drinks we'll find at the local coffee shops!
But, whether you're watching what you're eating or if you just want to reduce the amount of sugar you're consuming (hellllllo cavities), it can be hard, especially during this time of the year with so much temptation. One of the easiest things you can do is NOT have sugary snacks close by. Don't bring them into your home. Don't buy them 'because it was on sale'. Don't have secret stashes of sweets that the family doesn't know about. Just don't.
Not having sugary treats around is half the battle - but we know - sometimes, it's just not possible when you live and/or work in a shared space. Sooooo, our second tip is to make sure that you're well-stocked with healthy non-sugary snacks - so at least you get the option of choosing a healthy one each time. Read on for some of our favourite *dentist-approved* options!
Please note: some of these recommendations do contain fruit - which means they contain fruit sugars and acids. In these cases, it's still a very healthful way to go. You may want to rinse your mouth out with water after consuming fruits though, because there is such thing as acid wear on teeth and if sugars sit in your mouth for too long, bacteria feast on them and release acids which can harm enamel over a long period of time.
Roasted Chestnuts (on an open fire, anyone?)
Toasted Nuts (Choose almonds, pistachio, cashews, etc.)
Veggie with dip (some veggies recommendations: baby carrots, snow peas, sliced bell pepper, cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, etc. Some dip ideas: hummus, babaganoush, tzaziki, etc.)
Celery sticks with nut butters
Cheese with fruit
Fruit with nut butter
Cereal/Granola - no, not the kiddy, sugary ones!
Small salad (If you're using a vinaigrette, make sure you're rinsing your mouth with water after consumption!)
Spreads with crackers or toast (e.g. mashed avocado, fruit jam, cheesy spreads or soft cheeses, paté, etc)
Cold cuts with crackers
Boiled edamame beans, with some salt
Bowl of soup
Roasted chickpeas - you can season them with a bit of cajun seasoning, paprika, and some salt.
Asian seaweed snacks
Cucumber slices topped with smoked salmon
Hard boiled egg(s)
Fig slices wrapped in proscuitto
Spoonful of nut butter (LOL, doesn't everybody do this?)
Baked sweet potato fries
Baked apples with cinnamon
Water (no really! Many of us mistake 'thirst' signals for 'hunger' signals and trust us: just take a sip of water. Wait. And if you're still hungry, then grab a snack!)