Dentist warns parents against giving children raisins as a snack

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“Raisins and dried fruit are a big problem. Many parents think they're a good option because they're packed with vitamins."

Raisins are dried grapes, and grapes are fruit, therefore raisins are healthy. Although this may be true, it is important to remember that raisins contain a lot of sugar. They may be natural sugar, yet too much of it is still bad.

In fact, one dentist even wants parents to be cautious of giving children raisins.

In a Mirror report, practicing dentist and mum Saara Sabir from Salford said that one of the culprits of tooth decay are dried fruits.

Giving Children Raisins Can Be a Problem, Say Dentists

“Raisins and dried fruit are a big problem,” she explains. “Many parents think they're a good option because they're packed with vitamins."

Did you know that a serving of raisins (one small packet) contains around 8 teaspoons worth of sugar?

To put that into perspective, NHS’ recommended daily sugar for children aged four to six years-old is five sugar cubes tops. For children seven to ten, it is more than six.

Not only that, raisins and other dried fruits’ consistency also plays an important role in promoting tooth decay.

"Raisins are sticky, and get stuck in teeth,” Saara said. “Therefore the bacteria has a prolonged source of sugar, so it can cause decay for a longer period of time."

But that doesn’t mean you should stop including it to your children’s diet; raisins are still packed with nutritional value that growing children need.

"It's better to give your child raisins as a dessert or part of a meal rather than a snack,” added Saara. "Sugar as part of a meal is not detrimental to the teeth, so saving sweet treats for mealtimes doesn't cause decay.

"However frequent snacking of sweet foods and drinks between meals causes the mouth to remain in an acidic state — which is ideal for decay to occur.”

This is because the bacteria in our mouth feeds on sugar, which then produces acid.

Parents should then restrict giving children sweets only during meal times. Brushing the teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day also helps.

If you’re looking for a healthy snack, Saara suggests giving children cheese and bread sticks.

“It neutralises the acid in the mouth and prevents tooth decay,” she explained. “Any savoury snack is in fact a good alternative.”

 

Republished with permission from: theAsianparent Philippines

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Written by

Nasreen Majid