Create the ultimate veggie platter

The veggie platter is the unsung hero of the backyard barbecue. This healthy and colorful option can help you limit sugary sauces and cavity-causing sweet treats. Use the tips and tricks below to build the perfect tray — one that satisfies your taste buds and protects your smile.

Choose mouth-friendly veggies

Any raw, crunchy vegetable will cause you to produce saliva that washes remaining food out of your mouth. And these classic choices provide even more oral health benefits.

Broccoli reduces risk of gingivitis with vitamin C. It also provides vitamin K, which can help maintain strong bones.

Asparagus and other dark greens are packed with oral health-friendly nutrients such as vitamins A and C and calcium. The phosphorus in these vegetables can also improve your body’s calcium absorption.

Celery provides fiber that can help combat gum disease.

Carrots offer vitamin A, which helps keep your tooth enamel and soft tissue health. They’re also a great sources of vitamin C.

Add some flair to your vegetable platter

If you want to try something new, here are a few ideas for changing up your veggie tray.

Try some grilled veggies.

These will stand out from the crowd and are a healthy way to enjoy tooth-friendly choices like bell peppers, zucchini, and onions.

Make a fresh, tasty dip.

Use a recipe with yogurt, avocados, cottage cheese, or cream cheese as a base. These are healthier choices than dips with refined grains and starches, added sugars, trans fats, and highly processed ingredients.

Include some fresh fruit.

Pears can neutralize acids that cause tooth decay, and any crunchy fruit will cause you to produce more saliva. This helps wash away food and reduce bacteria growth.

The next time you’re wondering what to bring to a backyard barbecue, consider supporting your oral health with a colorful veggie tray.

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