When your child first gets braces, you’ll quickly discover that there’s a long list of foods that are now off limits. This is because hard or sticky foods like taffy, pretzels, suckers, apples and nuts, can become stuck in the braces or cause damage to them. Naturally, these restrictions can make providing healthy snacks a burden, but it just requires thinking that is a little more creative. Here are a few healthy snack food ideas that are safe for kids with braces.
Soft, Canned, or Pureed Fruits
Dried fruits and fresh, hard ones might be out of the question, but you still have plenty of options. For fresh fruit treats, try sliced peaches, seedless grapes, strawberries, or bananas. All canned fruits are also suitable, and you can even try experimenting with different fruit purees or sauces, like applesauce. These snacks are great for school lunches, picnics, field trips or just a nutritious anytime treat.
In the world of eating with braces, yogurt is the perfect healthy snack. It’s soft enough that no chewing is required, and it won’t adhere to brackets and wires. Furthermore, yogurt is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, the calcium, vitamin D, and protein found in yogurt are essential to healthy tooth and bone development, which will help support and improve the results of wearing braces.
Nut Butters and Milks
Just because whole and chopped nuts are forbidden doesn’t mean your child can’t still enjoy them, and their abundant nutrition, in other forms. As long as they’re not chunky-style, almond, peanut, cashew, sunflower, soy and hazelnut butters are perfectly acceptable choices. You can even serve nuts to your child as delicious, creamy glass of almond, coconut or cashew milk during snack time.
When it comes to healthy treats that are appropriate for children with braces, smoothies are the unsung heroes. Your kids will love them because they’re delicious and highly customizable. You’ll love them because they’re nutritious and easy to make. Virtually no ingredient is off limits. Even hard fruits and veggies like carrots and apples are safe when they’re in smoothie form. This is also a great way to use yogurt, nut milks, and creamy nut butters. Smoothies are an especially good snack on hot days because you can serve them chilled as a healthier alternative to ice cream milkshakes.
If your child is like most, they probably love tacos, but after getting braces, taco nights are outdated. They don’t have to be! Your whole family can still indulge in this Mexican favorite if you switch to using soft tortillas instead of the traditional crunchy shells. What’s more, nearly all of the standard toppings are suitable for children with braces.
Having braces already makes many children feel uneasy and self-conscious. Adding dietary restrictions to the mix can also make them feel left out at home and school. By providing your child with a large variety of healthy, appropriate snacks, you can help them feel better about having braces while ensuring they get the nutrition they need.
At Runnels Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics – with locations in Panama City Beach and Destin – we’ll work with you and your child to recommend healthy snacks that won’t compromise their braces. Contact Runnels Orthodontics today to learn more or to schedule your appointment.