As if getting used to life with braces wasn’t a challenge enough, we are now living with the temporary challenge of social distancing and staying at home. This includes having your teens home for lunch every day, which means you could probably use some extra lunch ideas for your kids with braces.
Can You Eat Sandwiches with Braces?
Sandwiches are a classic go-to for lunches for a reason. They’re tasty, easy to prepare, and you can enjoy them wherever you go (even though you may not be getting much further than your front yard right now). When you have kids with braces, it’s important to stick to ingredients that are easy to chew. Most thinly sliced deli meats are okay, but you should avoid thick lunch meats and chewier varieties like salami. You should also stick to softer bread and avoid overly seedy bread or anything with a chewy crust.
A classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a great way to go. You can also get creative with other types of nut butters, such as almond butter. Just be sure to stick to the creamy version rather than the crunchy version. If you find that the bread or fillings are getting stuck in the brackets and wires, cutting the sandwich into bite-size pieces might help.
Fruits and Veggies
Of course, it’s important to add healthy fruits and veggies to your kids’ lunches. While it’s typically a good idea to include things like carrots, celery, or apples, these crunchy options will need to be cut much smaller to avoid damaging your kids’ braces. If you want to avoid the extra chopping, stick to softer items like bananas and berries. You can also include items like applesauce without added sugar to help your kids enjoy a tasty and nutritious side of fruit with their lunch.
Other Tasty Lunch Ideas
There are lots of ways to make a lunch that packs a nutritional punch while avoiding crunchy and chewy foods that could be hard on your kids’ braces. While soft varieties of meat are good sources of protein, you can also include items like yogurt, hummus, and hard-boiled eggs to make sure your kids get a hearty serving of protein with their lunch. Most types of cheese are soft enough for your kids’ braces as well. Soups are also a great option, and they are easier to serve when your kids are home instead of eating in the school cafeteria.
If you want to include something to satisfy your kid’s sweet tooth every now and then, you should avoid hard candy or chewy items like caramel. Instead, stick to foods that are easy to eat, like pudding, soft brownies, or candy bars without nuts. Jello is also a great sweet treat that is easy on braces.
Foods to Avoid
Many classic lunch foods will be off-limits for your kids while they have braces, unfortunately. Most crunchy foods will have to wait until your kids get their braces removed. While plain potato chips like Lays and Pringles are often okay, harder chips like kettle chips and most tortilla chips will be too hard for braces.
We would love to tell you more about orthodontic treatment options for kids and how to master life with braces. Contact Smith Orthodontics today to schedule a free consultation.