Ways to keep tailgating foods tooth friendly
When the days get a little shorter and the weather gets a bit crisp, it can only mean one thing—tailgating! (You thought we were going to say, “fall is here,” didn’t you?) Whether you’re grilling in a stadium parking lot or just having some friends over to watch the big game, here are a few tips to keep your tailgate event tooth-friendly.
Though hamburgers and hot dogs tend to be tailgating staples, it would be a touchdown for your teeth if you opted for grilling vegetables, fish, and lean meats instead. Lean red meat contains iron, which is beneficial for your oral health. (An iron deficiency can actually lead to sores on the inside of your mouth.) Chicken and turkey both contain niacin. A lack of niacin can result in bad breath and mouth sores.
If you don’t grill veggies, consider a raw vegetable tray instead. Fiber-rich vegetables stimulate saliva flow, which washes sugars and bacteria away from your teeth, helping to prevent cavities. Carrots and broccoli are particularly high in fiber.
Crackers and cheese are always popular options, and there’s no reason not to enjoy them at your healthy tailgate. Cheese is a good source of calcium, which helps put minerals back in your teeth. When you choose crackers for your tray, try to find some that are whole-grain or whole-wheat.
As for sweet treats, bypass the typical fare like gooey brownies and sugar-packed cookies. Why not give our sugar-free peanut butter cookie recipe a shot (see below)? If baked goods aren’t your thing, sliced fruit with a healthy yogurt dip also makes a great alternative.
If you do decide to indulge in some football fare that’s not so healthy, be sure to brush afterward—or at least swish with a little water if you don’t happen to have a toothbrush handy.
RECIPE: SUGAR-FREE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
1 large egg
1 cup Splenda (or other artificial sweetener)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1 tsp water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use an electric mixer to beat the egg, Splenda, baking powder, and vanilla together for about a minute. Add peanut butter and water, and then mix until well combined.
Use a heaping teaspoon of batter for each cookie, placing on a cookie sheet about 1” apart. Flatten each ball of dough with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies feel firm and are slightly browned.