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Make Your Kids Smile With These Healthy Holiday Treats

At Happy Trails Children’s Dentistry, we understand that delicious treats are a big part of most people’s holiday celebrations. But in the hustle and bustle of all the holiday activities at home and school, it’s easy to overlook the importance of good oral health, especially for kids. 

Too much sugar left on teeth can lead to decay. No one wants to start the new year with a cavity, right? This year, consider adding some healthy snack alternatives to your holiday plans. Not only are they great for your child’s oral health, but these recipes can be a fun family activity too! 

5 Yummy Holiday Snacks

Santa Hat Jello Cups 

These adorable little snacks will sleigh everyone at your events. Using sugar-free Jell-O and your favourite whipped topping, these cuties are topped with hulled strawberries for Santa’s iconic hat. They’re super easy, too, since the longest part is letting the Jello-O set in the fridge! Serve with tiny spoons, and voila! 

Parent Note: You can make these for you to enjoy too!

Christmas Banana Snowmen 

A fun stacking snack! These snowmen are a healthy, tasty option for kids. Use banana slices, strawberries and grapes (with raisins and a sliver of carrot for decoration) and let them create their own edible snowpeople!

Parent Note: These are eat-immediately snacks! They will not keep well in the fridge. 

Babybel Cheese Santa

Cheese is a great snack to help combat tooth decay. Plus, these cheesy Santas (all the puns intended) are a fun way to celebrate the holidays! Making use of the iconic red wax wrapper, these ‘lollipops’ are sure to be a hit with all the kids! 

Parent Note: Preparing ahead of the event? Stand the skewers upright on a Styrofoam brick in the fridge to keep the cream cheese decorations intact.

Banana Penguins 

Another adorable build-a-treat recipe. These banana penguins are easy on the budget and fun for the kids. Supply them with edible eyes (available at most grocery stores in the baking aisle or at your favourite craft store) and pre-halved orange Reese’s Pieces, and let them create their own special penguin buddies to eat. 

Parent Note: These can keep a little longer if you freeze the bananas before dipping them in chocolate. However, they are definitely same-day snacks!

Rudolph Celery Snacks

A holiday twist on peanut butter and celery. This cute recipe adds pretzel twist antlers, edible eyeballs and cranberries to create adorable snacks. You can switch up the nut butter you use inside. An easy and quick snack option, as these will provide a fun experience for any age!

Parent Note: These will keep! So feel free to prepare them ahead of time. Or even store the celery separately and put the nut butters in piping bags/plastic storage bags for easy dispensing for little hands!

Schedule Check-Ups

Don’t forget: It’s recommended that kids should see a dentist every six months after their first birthday or first tooth (whichever is first!). 

With our child-friendly environment, our dedicated pediatric dentist, Dr. Sam, loves working with kids of all ages in Calgary to build a positive dental experience. From routine preventive dentistry to emergency dental care, our wide range of services cover all the bases when it comes to your child’s oral health. 

Ready to schedule your appointment with a pediatric dentist in Calgary? Contact us today!

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Healthy Halloween Tips for Kids

Halloween is such an exciting time for many kids. From dressing up in costumes as their favourite characters to indulging in their favourite treats. As a parent, we know you want to do your best to keep them healthy. At Happy Trails Children’s Dentistry, we’re here to give you some healthy Halloween tips to keep their oral health at its best. 

Alternative Treats 

Halloween is known as the “candy holiday”. However, there are so many fun alternatives that don’t have sugar as the number one ingredient. Sugar is a big contributor to the development of cavities. Try some of these fun ideas instead! 

Mummy Pumpkin Bars – these treats are on theme and gluten-free! Best of all, they only take 25 minutes to make. Get the recipe to try them out yourself!

Halloween cookies pediatric dentistry calgary

Snack-O’Lantern Fruit Cups – These mini jack-o-lanterns are too cute! Transform an orange into a fruit-filled treat for your kids. A great alternative to chocolate or candy. Make this recipe with your family!

Halloween oranges pediatric dentistry calgary

Mini Mummy Pizzas – Mummy, what’s for dinner? Try these mini mummy pizzas! A great snack or bite to tide the kids over. You can use spelt flour for these, which makes for a great source of fibre! Get the recipe to make it with your family!

Halloween cakes pediatric dentistry calgary

Monster Wraps – Make the fun the main meal! This is a great idea for lunch or dinner for the kids. If you fill them up with good nutritious food before trick-or-treating, there will also be less room for sugary-treats too! The details are in this recipe, and don’t forget to use veggies or hummus in your wraps to get in extra nutrients!

Halloween burrito south calgary pediatric dentistry

Oral Hygiene 

Healthy treats are just one way to keep your kids’ oral health in check for Halloween. The other important part is to make sure they brush their teeth! Don’t let sugar or food sit on their teeth. Make brushing teeth before bed part of the Halloween fun! Allow them a fun Halloween story after brushing their teeth, or reward them with a new toothbrush! 

Kids Dental Checkups In Calgary

We’re here to help you stay on top of your child’s oral health! Book your child’s next check-up with our pediatric dentist at Happy Trails Children’s Dentistry. We look forward to hearing about all of your Halloween fun!

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Healthy Summer Treats For Your Little One!

With the sunny days and warm weather, we experience during summer, it’s almost impossible not to look for snacks and treats that can help beat the heat. However, it’s important for parents to choose snacks for their little ones that are not only healthy but good for their smile! 

According to a recent review by the Canadian Dental Association, parents have a crucial role to play in promoting our children’s oral health. Taking care of their oral health at a young age helps reinforce good oral hygiene habits and prevents more costly treatment later in life!

One of the ways you can keep your little one’s teeth safe during this summer is by providing them with healthy summer treats! Our pediatric dentist at Happy Trails Children’s Dentistry has put together a list of healthy summer snacks your little ones can enjoy this summer.

1. Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt is a great, healthy alternative to ice cream. Yogurt contains calcium which promotes strong, healthy teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. Parents can make this snack more fun for their kids by adding various toppings, such as nuts, blueberries, and blackberries.

Try making your own frozen yogurt at home by placing some yogurt on parchment paper, adding your children’s favourite toppings, then freezing it!

2. Fruit Kabobs

Summer offers a myriad of fresh fruits to choose from, leaving you spoilt for choice. Fruits contain many natural sugars and fibre, making them extremely healthy for your teeth and body in general.

Fruit kabobs are a fun and creative way of ensuring that your kids indulge in their daily share of fruits during summertime. The best part is that they are extremely easy to make. All you need to do is cut some fruits, such as bananas, strawberries, and cantaloupe, into bite-sized pieces. Once this is done, thread them on skewers and serve as an afternoon summer treat. 

Besides fruit kabobs, other treats you can make for your kids using fruits include:

  • Fruit pizza: After making the pizza dough, use watermelon as a base and add other fruit toppings. This is an exciting and fun fruit treat that your kids will undoubtedly enjoy this summer.
  • Fruit salad: Mix up some different fruits that your kids enjoy, such as grapes, bananas, and strawberries, in a bowl.
  • Sorbet: You can make a fruit sorbet for your kids by simply blending various fruits together and freezing the mixture. This is a healthy and tasty treat that’s sure to be a summer favourite. 

3. Watermelon Popsicles

Watermelon not only tastes great but also promotes good oral health. It acts as nature’s toothbrush by rinsing bacteria from the mouth and helping with saliva production. The silver lining is that this fruit is a summer staple, making it an easy go-to treat for the season! 

Rather than simply offering your little one plain watermelon, you can get creative and make an exciting watermelon popsicle. All you have to do is cut your watermelon into slices, then insert popsicle sticks into the pieces and freeze them.

4. Vegetables with Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

You can give your hummus an interesting summer vibe by adding sundried tomatoes. Similarly, as a perfect summer treat, you can serve alongside crunchy vegetables such as celery, cucumbers, or carrots. These veggies help stimulate saliva production, which can help prevent the build-up of bacteria in your little ones’ mouths!

5. Cheese Cubes

Cheese is great for your little ones’ oral health since it contains high amounts of calcium, which strengthens the tooth enamel. Try offering your kids low-fat cheese cubes as everyday treats or appetizers. You can make your cheese cubes more interesting by serving them alongside apple cubes and celery sticks too.

Schedule An Appointment With Us Today!

One of the best ways to keep your little one’s oral health on track is by visiting our office for biannual dental checkups! At Happy Trails Children’s Dentistry, we offer preventative dentistry to help ensure their smile is happy and healthy. We would be happy to check in on your little one’s oral health when you visit us at Happy Trails Children’s Dentistry! Your child’s smile is in good hands with us! 

Family on a holiday dinner

Tips For A Healthy Holiday Season

Tips For A Healthy Holiday Season! 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere we go! With the holiday season in full swing, it’s time to spend quality time with loved ones, give a few thoughtful gifts, and maybe even indulge in a few of your festive favourites. We all love candies and baked goods, but the holidays aren’t an excuse to ignore how these sweets can affect your family’s dental health. We could never ask you to give up all the holiday treats. There are a few healthy tips you can follow to keep your kids’ smiles happy and healthy going into the new year! 

Choose Healthy Holiday Foods for Kids

Make your home a healthier zone by reducing the amount of sugar you use to cook/bake with. When you consume sugar, the bacteria in your mouth break it down into an acid. This acid weakens tooth enamel and can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Stock up on healthy foods this holiday season, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, lean protein, and whole grains. Make sure your kids fill up on well-balanced and nutritious meals and save the treats for your special holiday celebrations. If you’re looking for healthier alternatives, we suggest the following:

  • Oatmeal cookies
  • Gingerbread cookies
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Nut-based cookies and pies
  • Dried fruit
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies

Make Oral Hygiene A Top Priority

Ensuring that kids brush and floss as per the recommended oral hygiene routine is the top secret to maintaining their dental health during the holidays and throughout the year. Use the recommended amount of fluoride toothpaste and help with brushing until you’re certain that they’re old enough to do it on their own. This will help to prevent cavities and tooth decay!

Keep Hydrated

Have your kids drink water, and avoid sugary drinks such as sodas, sports drinks, and juices. Water enhances the flow of saliva, neutralizes plaque acids, and washes away bacteria and food debris. If you can’t deny your kids the occasional festive drink, try serving their meals with water and give them a water bottle to take with them throughout the day. 

Visit Our Pediatric Dental Office In Calgary! 

One of the most important steps in your child’s oral hygiene routine is regular check-ups with our children’s dentist. Dr. Sam and the staff of dental professionals are always ready to help! Contact us today to book an appointment with our pediatric dentist in Calgary and help them maintain good oral health this holiday season! Make sure to also follow our Facebook and Instagram pages for more tips and tricks! Wishing you all a very happy and healthy holiday season!


Kids Halloween Trick or Treating

Halloween Tips for Calgary Kids!

For children, Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year! With jack o’lanterns lining the streets, costumes, and of course, candy, there’s so much to look forward to! We want to help make sure your little one stays smiling this Halloween with a few oral health tips and tricks!

Remember Oral Hygiene

Encourage your family to brush their teeth after eating sticky candy. Sticky and sugary foods are more difficult to remove from the pits and grooves on teeth; it’s also harder for salvia to wash away. Remember, cavities are more likely to happen when we eat foods like this if we don’t thoroughly brush!

Don’t Have A Candy Free-For-All

Try to not let your family snack on the candy throughout the day. Did you know that it’s worse to eat a couple of chocolate bars throughout the day versus five in one sitting? This is because every time we snack on foods with refined carbs, the bacteria in our mouth produce acid for approximately 20 minutes. This acid is what causes teeth to break down and, consequently, cavities to develop. Giving candy as a dessert is the best because there’s less cumulative acid exposure to the teeth!

Drink Lots Of Water!

It’s very important to drink a lot of water when we’re indulging in a sugary treat or two. Water can help neutralize the acid that’s created in our mouth when we consume sugar. Drinking water after eating candy can help reduce the risk of tooth decay!

Local Events For Halloween Fun

We understand that Halloween is a bit different this year, and many families are choosing to stay home. However, there are many socially distant and fun events happening in Calgary! If you’re looking for some spooktacular fun for your family, we recommend the following:

Bring Your Little Pumpkin To Happy Trails

There shouldn’t be any spooky smiles after Halloween has come and gone! Our Calgary kid’s dentist, Dr. Sam, is here to help! You can book their appointment when you call (587) 576-KIDS (5437) or fill out a contact form. Make sure to also follow our Facebook and Instagram pages for more tips and tricks! We can’t wait to hear all about what you did for Halloween this year!

A child eating his school lunch

School Lunch Ideas for Oral Health

For parents, back-to-school means back to routine and back to packing lunches! Packing a school lunch can carry more responsibility than it seems. Parents should make sure they’re providing their children with healthy options that will give them the energy and nutrients they need to succeed in school.

Just like the rest of our body, our teeth and gums need certain vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Our team has put together a list of lunch ideas that are healthy and can help benefit your child’s oral health!

Cheese + Lunch Meat Sandwich 

There are many benefits to this lunchtime favourite. Cheese contains a protein called ‘casein’ that’s known for strengthening tooth enamel! It also promotes saliva production. This is beneficial to your child as they normally won’t brush their teeth until they get home, and the extra saliva can help wash away bacteria in their mouth. Try adding a slide of cheese to your child’s sandwich or keep it on the side so they can enjoy it as a healthy snack.

Yogurt and Blueberries 

Calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, leafy greens and almonds promote strong bones and teeth! While greek yogurt is a great way to get extra protein in your child’s diet, we suggest giving them regular yogurt as it contains even more calcium.

In recent years, scientists have discovered that “berries can reduce the risk of tooth decay by lowering the activity of bacteria in the mouth.” Yogurt and blueberries just might be the perfect school snack for good oral health!

Apple Slices And Peanut Butter 

Similarly to cheese, eating an apple will produce saliva in your child’s mouth and help to rinse away bacteria and food particles. On top of this, peanut butter contains a mineral called phosphorus that can help prevent gum disease! If you decide to pack your child this snack, try brushing the apple slices with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown!

Visit Happy Trails This Back-To-School Season!

We’re almost ready to open our doors and start booking routine back-to-school children’s dentist appointments! Make sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages for all our latest announcements. We can’t wait to meet the little ones of Calgary very soon!