Nutrition & Recipes

Healthy Meal Ideas For Oral Health

Cooking Wholesome Child recipe with your kids at home

Did you know that one of the greatest risks of a poor diet is tooth decay for young children? Eating healthy food is commonly associated with avoiding obesity, behavioural changes, and a weak immune system. However, the foods we eat directly impact the health of our teeth and gums. And they do so from the minute we begin to chew in the first stage of digestion! Also, you can check out the fussy eating solution from Wholesome Child.

Introducing foods that are rich in fibre, calcium, B vitamins and vitamin D are excellent ways to boost gum and tooth health. While brushing and flossing is critical, diet is the top defensive tool against tooth decay. But getting kids to eat foods that are good for them and their teeth is sometimes easier said than done, so Wholesome Child have focussed on ones that can hopefully work in your family.


4 top tips for oral health are:


  • Choose wholefoods that are crunchy and help to physically clean teeth
  • Select chewy wholefoods that promote saliva production, which neutralises acid
  • Pick foods rich in calcium, B vitamins, vitamin D and protein
  • Avoid sugary foods and highly acidic foods

With this in mind, here’s a list of some key foods to focus on when working towards a shining smile:



Fancy another tooth brush during morning snack? Top of the list of foods for healthy teeth are apples with skin on! Since they are high in fibre, they act like a toothbrush, scrubbing away plaque and food debris from teeth – plus their acid content kills off the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Raw carrots

Wish you could shine your kids teeth with a magic cloth? Offer raw carrots with meals and snacks! Chewing on a raw carrot has similar benefits to eating apples, with all that fibre working to gently wipe away debris and help teeth keep their sparkle. In addition, the vitamin A and B content helps to prevent gingivitis, which is the first sign of gum disease. Carrot-munching also produces lots of saliva, which naturally neutralises the acids in your mouth.

Leafy greens

Easier said than done? We hear you! Boosting kids pasta sauces and muffins with leafy greens can be a good way to get them in. Leafy, dark greens such as kale and spinach as well as broccoli have all the teeth-cleaning benefits of carrots and apples, plus they’re rich in folate, calcium and vitamin B, so they keep teeth and gums  strong and disease-free. Not always an easy sell but worth persisting with these – and remember, it can take a child up to 16 exposures with a food in order to accept it so don’t give up on these superfoods! If you need a little extra helping hand, check out my increasing veggies course.


From the age of 5 when choking hazards are less of a concern, nuts and seeds are a nutritious snack and protein source for children, offering all the saliva-boosting, teeth-cleaning benefits they need. Walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts and peanuts also contain Arginine, an amino acid that when combined with calcium has shown to be effective in reducing cavities and eliminating gum sensitivity. Mix them into a homemade trail mix or muesli bar if your child doesn’t enjoy eating them by themselves. Nuts are an excellent plant based source of protein, for more ideas to increase protein in your child’s diet check out my Power of Protein Course.


Low sodium cheese is a great option for kids – and one of the best foods for healthy teeth! A natural neutraliser, it’s a secret weapon in helping reduce the effects of acid attacks caused by sugary or citric foods and drinks – and of course, it’s an excellent source of teeth-strengthening calcium. Cheese for dessert to neutralise dinner? Give it a go! Check out my shopping course to learn how to read sodium levels to ensure the cheese you are purchasing ticks all the boxes. It’s complimentary when you sign up to My Wholesome Child.



Most people are aware that omega-rich salmon is great ‘brain food’ for kids – but with its high levels of vitamin D, it’s a superfood for their teeth too! Vitamin D allows the body to absorb and use calcium, which protects teeth and gums from disease. You can try fish fingers with salmon instead of white fish, or our mini salmon quiches (see recipe below).

Probiotic promoting foods

Gut health is the foundation of a strong immune system, as well as healthy teeth and gums. You can support gut health by feeding kids foods that are rich in prebiotics and probiotics, for example, natural yoghurt, kefir and bone broth. You can cook pasta or rice in bone broth, or boost homemade smoothies with an ice cube of bone broth (and spoon of kefir) if your child won’t accept these foods in their natural state. Check out the homemade bone broth recipe in the Wholesome Child book.

Top foods to avoid for oral health

  • Processed foods, which are full of preservatives and artificial additives
  • Dried fruit
  • Sugary foods
  • Fruit juice
  • Highly acidic foods (sour lollies, soda, cordial, pickles, tomato sauce)



At Journey, our use of the Wholesome Child Nourish Program means your child’s overall health and oral health is well considered in our seasonal menu plans. (Click here to learn more about Journey’s learning environments and offers) Some of the Nourish recipes we enjoy that tick the boxes for oral health that you may wish to try at home, include:

Wholesome Child recipe : MINI SALMON QUICHES (NF/GF)


Prep time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 25-30 mins

Makes: 24 small or 12 large quiches


  • 1 tbs coconut oil or olive oil, plus extra for greasing tray
  • ½ brown onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (5g) spinach or kale, steamed and finely sliced
  • 200g salmon fillet, grilled and flaked, or canned salmon, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup (125g) ricotta cheese or coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup (125g) pumpkin, peeled and steamed
  • 2 tbs coconut flour or almond meal
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk of choice
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp mixed herbs or dill


High-speed food processor


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a mini muffin tray or a quiche mold with coconut oil or olive oil.
  2. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion and spinach for 2 mins or until soft. Remove the vegetables and set aside. Add the salmon and pan fry until lightly cooked.

  3. In a processor, add onion, flaked salmon, ricotta, pumpkin and flour and process until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly, add milk, salt and herbs.
  5. Combine egg mixture with salmon mixture and stir thoroughly.
  6. Pour mixture in prepared muffin tray and bake for 25 mins.
  7. Serve with Tzatziki Dip or Homemade Tomato Sauce.

Serving and storing leftovers:

  • Serve immediately, store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 4 months.


  • For a dairy-free version swap the ricotta cheese for 1/2 cup coconut cream.


Wholesome Child recipe : CHIA + VEGETABLE LASAGNA (VEG/EF)

Wholesome Child: Chia + Vegetable Lasagna (veg)

Prep time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 35-40 mins

Ingredients (12 serves)

  • Extra virgin olive oil  1 tbs (20ml)
  • Brown onion, finely diced   1 (110g)
  • Garlic cloves, finely diced   2 (20g)
  • Carrot, grated   1 (120g)
  • Zucchini, grated   1 (190g)
  • Button mushrooms, diced   2 cups (200g)
  • Tomato passata, no added salt   700g
  • Fresh parsley, chopped    ¼ cup (5g)
  • Pepper, to taste                    
  • Wholegrain lasagna sheets   200g
  • BECHAMEL SAUCE               
  • Butter, unsalted   3 tbs (66g)
  • Wholemeal flour   1/3 cup (40g)
  • Milk of choice, calcium-fortified   3 cups (750ml)
  • Cheddar cheese, grated   1 cup (80g)
  • Chia seeds   1 tbs (17g)


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan and sauté onion and garlic for 2-3 mins or until soft.
  3. Add carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, tomato passata and parsley and cook, covered, over low heat for approximately 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Season with some pepper.
  4. In another saucepan, heat butter over medium heat.
  5. Add flour and whisk to combine quickly, then add milk, one cup at a time and cook until it thickens, whisking regularly.
  6. Stir in grated cheese and set aside.
  7. In a medium-sized casserole dish, place the lasagna sheets, then the tomato and vegetable mix, then béchamel sauce. Continue with rest of the sheets and finish with a layer of béchamel sauce.
  8. Sprinkle chia seeds over the top layer and bake in the oven for 35-40 mins.
  9. Serve softly mashed, or chopped into fine pieces with steamed vegetables on the side.

Serving and storing leftovers:

  • Serve immediately, store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 4 months.


  • For a quick meal, serve the sauce with wholemeal pasta of choice.



Wholesome Child: Boosted Strawberry Milkshake (veg)

Prep time: 10 mins


6 serves

10 serves

25 serves

30 serves

Cauliflower florets, steamed and frozen

1 cup (160g)




Milk of choice, calcium-fortified

4 cups (1L)




Strawberries, frozen

1 cup (160g)




Banana, ripe

1 (130g)

1 ½


4 ¾

Chia seeds

2 tsp (14g)

¾ tbs

2 tbs

2 ½ tbs

Vanilla extract

1 tsp (5ml)

½ tbs

1 tbs

1 ¼ tbs


  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • DF: Use coconut- or oat milk.

Serving and storing leftovers:

  • Serve immediately, store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze in popsicle moulds for up to 4 months.



Wholesome Child: 4-Ingredient Cheesy Crackers

Prep time: 15 mins (+ 30 mins refrigeration)

Cooking time: 12-15 mins 

Serves: 20


  • ½ cup (90g) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 ½ cups (200g) wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 ¼ cups (100g) grated cheese, low sodium
  • ½ tsp (2g) baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place all ingredients into a high-speed food processor and blend until well combined and a dough has formed.
  3. Place dough onto a lightly floured, clean surface and roll into a log, approximately 2cm radius. Refrigerate for 30 mins.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into thin slices (1-2mm thickness) and place onto the prepared trays.
  5. Bake in oven for 12-15 mins, depending on thickness.
  6. Allow to cool. They will crisp up once cold.
  7. Serve with a dip of choice.

Serving and storing leftovers:

  • Serve immediately, store in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot for 4 days, in the fridge for up to 14 days or freeze for up to 4 months. 

To boost:

  • Sprinkle with veggie powder

To flavour:

  • Add 1 tsp of paprika, oregano, rosemary or cumin along with the other ingredients before processing.


  • For a gluten-free version: Swap wholemeal spelt flour for brown rice flour.
  • To reduce the lactose load: Swap cheese for ½ cup of nutritional yeast. Butter contains trace amounts of lactose and may be suitable for children suffering from lactose intolerance. Always discuss with your GP before offering to your child.


Wholesome Child recipe : 4-INGREDIENT HULK MUFFINS(VEG/NF)

Wholesome Child: 4-Ingredient Hulk Muffins

Prep time: 15 mins 

Cooking time: 15 mins 

Serves: 12


  • 1 cup (40g) baby spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (60g) grated cheese, low sodium
  • 2 tbs (25g) wholemeal spelt flour or coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced) and line a mini muffin tray with muffin holders.
  2. Place spinach and eggs into a blender and blend until smooth. Add rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined.
  3. Add 1 tbs of batter into each muffin hole and bake for 15 mins.
  4. Allow to cool before serving.

Serving and storing leftovers:

  • Serve immediately, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days or freeze for up to 4 months. 

To boost:

  • Add 1 tbs of protein powder

To flavour:

  • Add  a pinch of se salt to the batter.
  • Add 1 tsp of dried oregano  to the batter.


  • For a gluten-free version: Use 1/3 cup of coconut flour instead of wholemeal spelt flour.
  • For a dairy-free version: Omit cheese and add 2-3 tbs of nutritional yeast instead or coconut cream.

Kids are having healthy meal in childcare

A final word…

If you have any concerns about oral health, chat to your family dentist. Remember, it’s never too late to improve your kids oral health and overall nutrition. Take it one mouthful at a time!

Looking for more Wholesome child recipes?>>> Get the free access here Or join Journey Early Learning today to have the best meal plan for your child every day!>>>Find your local Journey centre
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