When your child gets braces, you are handed a list of foods that he or she can and cannot eat. This can make packing school lunches difficult as it seems like almost every type of snack food is on the “do not eat” list. Luckily, with the right knowledge about what can and cannot be eaten, a little creative thinking and careful planning you can create braces friendly lunches for your child.
In an effort to help you as your child gets ready to head back to school after the long summer break, we have gathered some helpful tips and suggestions for parents who are responsible for packing lunches. These tips and suggestions will help you create braces friendly lunches that are healthy, tasty, and most importantly something your child will enjoy.
The Snacks and Foods to Avoid Packing for Children with Braces
Children with braces are often disappointed to learn that foods that are too sticky, too chewy, or too hard should be avoided. This means almost all the traditional snack foods, or junk food, should be avoided if your child is wearing braces.
Favorite snacks and foods that you should avoid packing in your child’s lunch if they have braces include:
- Tortilla chips
- Potato chips
- Hard, crunchy granola bars
- Crunchy peanut butter or peanut butter that is abnormally sticky
- Hard candy
- Soft, sticky candy such as taffy, tootsie rolls, and gummy bears
- Foods that are high in sugar
Favorite Snacks and Foods to Pack in Lunches for Children with Braces
After reading the list of foods that you shouldn’t pack in your child’s lunch, it may seem like there isn’t anything left to pack, but that isn’t the case. There are plenty of things you can pack for your child’s lunch.
The following are some suggestions for foods and snacks you could pack in your child’s lunch if they have braces:
- Peanut butter and Jelly (just make sure the jelly isn’t too sticky and the peanut butter isn’t the crunchy variety)
- Sandwiches with a favorite lunch meat such as roast beef, turkey or ham
- Egg salad sandwiches
- Tuna sandwiches
- Sliced soft fruit such as bananas, strawberries, and melon
- Greek yogurt with soft fruit mixed in
- Sliced apples – do not put in a whole apple as biting into the apple can damage the braces
- Hummus and soft wraps or light crackers
- Soft pretzels
Things to Remember When Your Child has Braces
Wearing braces is a long term commitment. Make your child’s experience wearing braces better by keeping the following things in mind:
- Always brush after every meal
- Use tiny picks to remove food that may have gotten stuck between braces
- Try to rotate snacks and food in lunches. This helps prevent your child from getting bored with eating the same foods over and over again
- Be flexible and encourage your child to try need snacks and foods
- Don’t panic if your child slips up and eats something on the ‘do not eat’ list. Remind them that they should try to avoid those foods
- Create special treats to help your child feel better about missing out on their favorite snacks
- Schedule an appointment immediately if your child’s braces get damaged from eating any type of foods or if your child experiences any extreme pain
Get Help from the Staff at Your Orthodontics Office
At Melbourne Orthodontics, we understand how difficult it is to find foods and snacks that not only can your child eat, but that they enjoy. Our dedicated and enthusiastic staff will gladly provide you with snack and food recommendations that you can try for your child’s lunch. Even if you don’t have an appointment schedule, you can call our office and we will gladly answer any questions you may have regarding what foods can or cannot be eaten with braces.
If you live in the Indian Harbour Beach or Melbourne, Florida area and are in need of orthodontic treatment, call our office to schedule an appointment. There is no cost associated with the first appointment as it is designed to help you get a better understanding of what type of orthodontic treatment you or your child may need.