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I have tried putting cheese in my kids lunch boxes a lot and the majority of times it has come home returned from the child who needs it most. One of my children unfortunately suffers from tooth enamel defects – basically a weakness and discolouring of the enamel coat of his teeth. The issue with the enamel on his teeth was caused in the first two years of his life. He had many ear infections and associated high temperatures in the first couple of years, until we realised he had fluid on the ears and had grommets placed in both ears to remedy the situation. High fevers and middle ear infections are directly linked to enamel defects in children.
So as a consequence his teeth are far more prone to tooth decay. I have known for some time that cheese has been found to prevent tooth decay:
“Casein, a special ingredient in cheese, can actually help counter the effects of corrosive plaque acids,” Dr Wilson said.
“The casein protein and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus that are found in cheese help prevent tooth decay and also help remineralise (repair) teeth that have early decay.
“Casein leaves a film on the teeth that counters the effects of the acids created when children eat sugary foods.
“Combine this with the calcium and phosphorus in cheese which actually work to rebuild damaged tooth enamel and you’ve got a dental dream food.” From Australian Dental Association
The problem for me has been getting him to eat it! Particularly to eat it at school as the last thing he has at recess or lunch time, so his teeth have the protection that cheese offers. Although he doesn’t have sweets in his lunchbox, he loves his fruit and while I don’t want him to stop eating fruit, I am conscious that fruits contain natural acids, that can also be harmful to teeth. Eating cheese after fruit can help decrease the damage.
So this is where the new Bega range of kids cheese comes into play! Recently we had the opportunity to sample the Bega Shapers Puzzlers cheese and I had instant success! No cheese was returned in anyone’s lunchbox! The Bega Shapers Puzzlers are made from 100% natural Bega Cheddar Cheese, have no artificial flavours or colours and with each serve containing 23% of the recommended daily intake of calcium for kids, it is a great healthy snack to have in the lunch box.
I also really liked that they came in a resealable ziplock bag, so helping to reduce the rubbish in the kids lunch boxes. The kids really liked how the pieces fitted together – like a puzzle!
We also sampled Bega Junior and by far these were the biggest hit with the toddler. They are made from natural Bega Colby cheese, which is why I think he liked it so much. Colby cheese is a softer and milder version of Cheddar cheese. Coming in single serves they have been wonderfully handy to grab from the fridge and take with me for the toddler to have as we do some waiting at an after school activity.
How do you get your kids to eat enough cheese?