Tooth-Friendly Elementary Meals in Katy, TX

We all know how hard it is to concentrate when your stomach is grumbling. Kids especially need nutritious food, so they can have the energy to focus and study at school for 6 to 8 hours. At Kids Healthy Teeth, our pediatric dentist offers nutritious counseling to parents, so they can give their kids the food they need to grow, learn, and have healthy teeth! After going through the menus provided by school districts in Katy, we’ve compiled a guide of the best dishes for kids.

The Katy Independent School District includes well over 30 schools in the area. Each of these schools has their own menu, but all the food is supplied by the Katy ISD Nutrition and Food Service. Though the items may vary day by day for each school, they’re all essentially serving the same food. If your child has certain food allergies or preferences, they can go over the monthly menu distributed by each school (also available online) to see when to bring lunch, snacks, or breakfast.

Elementary School Breakfast

Educators understand the importance of having a well-balanced meal before class, so if you don’t have the time to prepare a morning buffet for your kids, don’t worry – there are plenty of options available at school. Though the Katy ISD does follow national health guidelines, certain items on the menu are better for your teeth than others. Here are our top picks:

  • Yogurt: Not only is yogurt delicious, versatile, and easy to pack, it’s packed with calcium, protein, and probiotics. This is great for gum health and enamel strength. Yogurt also counters cavity-causing bacteria by balancing your mouth’s pH levels and reducing the acidity in the mouth. It’s even been suggested that yogurt can reduce bad breath by introducing good bacteria into the mouth that can decrease levels of hydrogen sulfide.

We recommend greek yogurt because it contains high levels of probiotics. While your kids may protest, try to avoid yogurt with added sugar. Instead, sweeten it with fresh fruit, cereal, or honey.

  • String Cheese: Like yogurt, cheese is high in calcium, which can help strengthen the teeth’s enamel. Cheese also contains a special protein, casein, that helps prevent acid from destroying teeth enamel. According to a study by the American Academy of General Dentistry, cheese can also raise the pH levels in your mouth to help fight bacteria and cavities.

At school, string cheese is a popular side because unlike other cheeses, it’s relatively low in calories and saturated fat. Since it’s only served time to time, try incorporating other healthy cheeses in the meantime, like feta, cottage, and goat cheese.

  • Eggs: There is a common misconception that eggs are unhealthy because they’re full of cholesterol. On the contrary, studies have recently shown that there is no evidence egg consumption increases the risk for heart disease or cholesterol blood levels. Eggs are actually full of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fats. For example, they’re excellent sources of Vitamin D, which is essential to helping the body absorb calcium for maintaining healthy teeth.

Most Katy elementary schools offer scrambled eggs in the form of a breakfast wrap, but you can also pack your child a boiled egg as a quick snack. When consumed in moderation, eggs have tons of health benefits.

  • Fresh fruit: You can count on the school breakfast menu to offer a healthy serving of fruit every single day and not without good reason. Fruits with high fiber content and vitamins can help naturally clean the teeth and stimulate the mouth’s production of saliva. Fresh apples, pears, oranges, and bananas, are all tooth-friendly options for kids.

To preserve fruit throughout the week, schools often serve fruit cups. Although these can be tasty, they’re often infused with syrups and preservatives with tons of sugar. If your child doesn’t rinse his or her mouth after eating, this sugar could lead to cavities. Always opt for fresh fruit if possible.

Though Katy schools have lots of dentist-approved choices for breakfast, there are also a few items we recommend avoiding. Sugary, starchy, sticky foods are terrible for your teeth because they leave sugary debris on the teeth that bacteria can turn into cavity-causing acids. Here are the worst offenders:

  • Starchy, syrupy foods: These maple syrup slathered, sweet pastry-like dishes belong on a dessert menu, not a breakfast menu. These foods are often made with refined carbs that can linger in the mouth and break down into simple sugars. The bacteria feed on sugars and create harmful acids that decay the teeth. Breakfast items like pancakes, cinnamon glazed french toast, and mini cinnis can be enjoyed once in a while but not multiple times a week.
  • Assorted cereals: Cereal is always a quick and easy breakfast that’s sure to satisfy, but how healthy is it really? Unfortunately, most cereals are loaded with sugar and refined carbs that have the same effect on teeth as pancakes or french toast. Stay away from Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Multigrain Cheerios and Rice Krispies are slightly better alternatives, but in general, cereal isn’t the best choice.
  • Breakfast bars: The worst of both worlds! Cereal bars and pop tartsmay seem like a yummy, convenient option for breakfast, but they’ll do more damage than anything else. Cereal bars and pop tarts are held together with sticky starches and sugars, helping carbohydrates get stuck in the teeth. Without a toothbrush or floss to get rid of all the food particles, bacteria will have ample time to do serious damage to the teeth.

Elementary School Lunches

Unlike the breakfast menu, there’s far more variety for lunch. Each day comes with three entree options and up to four sides. We’ll highlight our favorite and least favorite menu options being served at the local schools.

  • Grilled or roasted white meat: Chicken and turkey are healthy lean meats that schools frequently serve. They’re less fatty than other meats, but they still have just as much protein. Grilling, roasting, baking, broiling, and steaming meat are all heart healthy ways to prepare meat because it requires little to no oil

In Katy, cafeterias often serve items like sliced turkey breast, deli turkey sliders, and turkey hot dogs. If there’s nothing that interests your child on the menu, turkey and cheese munchables are served daily.

  • Cheesy entrees: As stated before, cheese is packed with calcium and protein, so it’s great for lunch. We like simple dishes like grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese ravioli, cheese quesadillas, and cheeseburgers, but once in a while, cheese pizza and mac ‘n cheese are okay to indulge in, too.

If your child doesn’t like the strong flavor of cheese, they can make up for it by drinking a carton of milk instead. Schools always offer a variety of 1% white milk, fat free chocolate milk, and fat free strawberry milk.

  • Fresh Veggies: The Katy ISD provides plenty of fresh produce for kids at lunch. Vegetables that are high in fiber stimulate saliva flow, a natural defense against cavities. Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and arugula also have minerals that can help fortify the tooth enamel against plaque.

They’re also a good source of vital vitamins and minerals. Some of our favorites on the menu include spinach salad, fresh veggie mix, broccoli florets, lettuce and tomato salad, baby carrots, tossed salad, fresh celery, & cherry tomatoes.

  • Fresh Fruit: Like vegetables, fibrous fruit is can also wash away harmful substances by generating saliva. Katy cafeterias often serve fruit like fresh cantaloupe, watermelon chunks, apple slices, pears, kiwis, grapes, pineapples, strawberries, and oranges.

As much as we like the Katy ISD lunch menu, there are a couple of entrees that aren’t as healthy as others. While these foods don’t have to be cut of your child’s diet entirely, it’s important to be mindful of them.

  • Fried foods: Most fried foods are coated in flour and/or bread crumbs before being dunked in hot oil to achieve a crispy, crunchy texture. This results in an oily dish that can be unhealthy for the teeth and body. Plus, if your child has braces, crunchy foods can damage the brackets or wires. Items like mozzarella sticks, corn dogs, chicken nuggets, nacho chips, chicken tenders, beef fingers, and crispy chicken rings can easily be baked or grilled at home instead of fried.
  • Saucy or glazed dishes: Except for tomato sauce, most sauces are thickened with starches and flavored with excess salt and sugar. BBQ turkey and orange chicken are often doused in sweet sauces that are highly concentrated with sugar.

Adding extra condiments or dressing, like ketchup and mustard, to foods can also be detrimental to your child’s dental health. A good rule of thumb is to use only one packet or squirt of whatever sauce is needed to season the food at most. Another option is to bring natural flavorings from home to school, like hummus or lime juice.

  • Starches: Tater tots, sweet potato fries, and mashed potatoes can raise blood sugar levels if they’re eaten too often. Like other starches, they can also create a breeding ground for plaque and bacteria. However, schools typically don’t offer these sides in excess, so it’s okay to let your kids enjoy some potato-y bliss at school. Besides, sweet potatoes contain Vitamin A, which contributes to gum health and formation of tooth enamel.

Schools across the nation are working to provide affordable meals to students, so they can focus on their education instead of their hunger. Parents can always apply for free or reduced lunch, on the Katy ISD website as well. If you see certain items that you think could be healthier, the district also has a school health advisory council that parents are welcome to join. Check if your child is a part of a Katy ISD school below.

 

Alexander Elementary

6161 South Fry Rd

Katy, TX 77494

Bear Creek Elementary

4815 Hickory Downs Dr

Houston, TX 77084

Bethke Elementary

4535 E. Ventana Pkwy

Katy, TX 77493

Bryant Elementary

29801 Kingsland Blvd.

Katy, TX 77494

Campbell Elementary

3701 Cross Creek Bend Lane

Fulshear, TX 77441

Cimarron Elementary

1100 South Peek Rd

Katy, TX 77450

Creech Elementary

5905 South Mason Rd

Katy, TX 77450

Davidson Elementary

26906 Pine Mill Ranch Drive

Katy, TX 77494

Exley Elementary

21800 Westheimer Pkwy

Katy, TX 77450

Fielder Elementary

2100 Greenway Village Dr

Katy, TX 77494

Franz Elementary

2751 Westgreen Blvd

Katy, TX 77449

Golbow Elementary

3535 Lakes of Bridgewater Dr

Katy, TX 77449

Griffin Elementary

7800 South Fry Road

Katy, TX 77494

Hayes Elementary

21203 Park Timbers Ln

Katy, TX 77450

 

Holland Elementary

23720 Seven Meadows Parkway

Katy, TX 77494

Hutsell Elementary

5360 Franz Rd

Katy, TX 77493

Jenks Elementary

27602 Westridge Creek Lane

Katy, TX 77494

Katy Elementary

5726 George Bush Ave

Katy, TX 77493

Kilpatrick Elementary

26100 Cinco Ranch Blvd

Katy, TX 77494

King Elementary

1901 Charlton House Ln

Katy, TX 77493

Mayde Creek Elementary

2698 Greenhouse Rd

Houston, TX 77084

McRoberts Elementary

3535 North Fry Rd

Katy, TX 77449

Memorial Parkway Elementary

21603 Park Tree Ln

Katy, TX 77450

Morton Ranch Elementary

2502 Mason Road

Katy, TX 77449

Nottingham Country Elementary

20500 Kingsland Blvd

Katy, TX 77450

Pattison Elementary

19910 Stonelodge Dr

Katy, TX 77450

Randolph Elementary

5303 Flewellen Oaks Lane

Fulshear, TX 77441

Rhoads Elementary

19711 Clay Road

Katy, TX 77449

Rylander Elementary

24831 Westheimer Pkwy

Katy, TX 77494

Schmalz Elementary

18605 Green Land Way

Houston, TX 77084

Shafer Elementary

5150 Ranch Point Dr.

Katy, TX 77494

Stanley Elementary

26633 Cinco Terrace Drive

Katy, TX 77494

Stephens Elementary

2715 Fry Road

Katy, TX 77449

Sundown Elementary

20100 Saums Rd

Katy, TX 77449

West Memorial Elementary

22605 Provincial Blvd

Katy, TX 77450

Williams Elementary

3900 South Peek Rd

Katy, TX 77450

Wilson Elementary

5200 Falcon Landing

Katy, TX 77494

Winborn Elementary

22555 Prince George Ln

Katy, TX 77449

Wolfe Elementary

502 Addicks-Howell Rd

Houston, TX 77079

Wolman Elementary

28727 North Firethorne Rd.

KATY, TX 77494

WoodCreek Elementary

1155 Wood Creek Bend Lane

Katy, TX 77494

We hope you enjoyed our guide to elementary school lunches in Katy, TX. At Kids Healthy Teeth, we like to emphasize comprehensive health, preventative dental hygiene, and education as ways for our patients to keep their smiles bright and healthy. Nutritious is an important part of dental health and development, so we try to provide as many resources about it as possible for the Katy community.

 

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