little girl eating veggiesby Nimali Fernando, a.k.a. Doctor Yum

Want your kids to build healthy teeth that will stay strong for a lifetime? Here are five nutritional tips that build strong teeth.

Get plenty of calcium. Think beyond dairy for your calcium, and make sure kids are getting other calcium-rich foods, too. Dark green vegetables like kale and collard greens, nuts like almonds, beans, and sesame seeds are all great sources of calcium.

Get vitamin D. Foods like salmon and eggs are high in vitamin D and help to make sure we absorb even more of the calcium we take in from our diet. Fifteen minutes of sunshine helps us to make even more vitamin D, too.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Without healthy gums we cannot have healthy teeth. The plant nutrients found in fruits and vegetables will keep our gum tissue strong and healthy.

toothbrushesDrink plenty of water: Drinking only water between meals keeps our teeth clean and prevents bacteria from flourishing.

• Add a great diet to healthy habits, twice-daily tooth brushing, regular flossing and regular checkups and your family will have healthy teeth for years to come.

If you want to learn more about how to instill healthy eating habits in your children, visit doctoryum.com. Be sure to check out our growing list of cooking classes and camps offered in our instructional kitchen.