It’s back-to-school and if you’re a little stumped by braces-friendly school lunch ideas, your Omaha-area orthodontist can help! Here, Dr. Nathan Hawley and the Hawley Orthodontics team have got you covered with this refresher on foods you can eat and foods to avoid with braces, plus 10 braces-friendly, yummy and healthy school lunches.
What To Eat With Braces
If your child is new to braces, stick to soft foods at first like scrambled eggs, oatmeal, soup, mashed potatoes, or pasta. You can also reach for cold soft foods like smoothies, yogurt and protein shakes to help soothe braces discomfort.
What to eat with braces once your child is ready? Pretty much most of what they were eating before! Just remember these three rules: cut or break food into small, bite-sized pieces, chew with the back teeth, and avoid biting directly into food with the front teeth. With these guidelines, even food like raw apples or carrots and meat on the bone can still be enjoyed with braces.
Foods to Avoid With Braces
Of course, some foods are best avoided. Foods to avoid with braces? Anything hard, sticky, or gummy, and any crunchy foods that you can’t cut into small pieces.
Braces-Friendly School Lunch Ideas
As promised, we’ve got some healthy school lunch ideas for kids that double as braces-friendly food!
1.Breakfast for Lunch
Pancakes with smooth almond butter, plus fresh berries and a cup of Greek yogurt make for easy, braces-friendly food.
2.Vegetarian Dinner for Lunch
File this one under “bento box lunch ideas.” Prep strips of marinated, baked tofu, baked potato or sweet potato wedges, and blueberries.
Another option to add to your braces bento box ideas? Protein power! Hard-boiled eggs, cubed cheese, mini naan, and a dollop of smooth nut butter. Plus cherry tomatoes or thinly-sliced cucumbers and orange pieces.
A braces-friendly lunch food, prep refried bean and cheese quesadillas with sides of guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. Add soft fruit like a banana for snack time.
5.Roll Ups – A Sandwich Alternative
Take a break from the sammies and make pinwheels for healthy school lunches. Fill a soft tortilla with turkey and cheese, roll it up, then slice into bite-sized pieces. Round it out with cherry tomatoes and snap pea crisps.
6.Who Doesn’t Love A Dip?
Pack triangles of soft pita bread with a side of hummus and edamame beans. Add diced fresh peaches and a little plain yogurt to dip the peaches in. Double-dipping allowed!
7.Burger & Fries – A Classic
Burger & fries? Kid-approved. Leftover beef or veggie burger on a soft roll with a side of sweet potato fries makes a healthy, braces-friendly lunch food.
Pasta salad is a what-to-eat-with-braces go-to since it’s soft and typically has extra nutrition with small pieces of soft veggies.
9.Kid Style Charcuterie
Try a fancy snacky lunch with deli meat (cut in small pieces), bites of soft cheese, and whole wheat crackers (Ritz crackers will melt in the mouth). Add fresh fruit like berries and grapes for teeth-happy vitamins.
10.Soup and Sandwich Combo
Chicken soup or pureed soup is a braces-friendly food that’s also healthy and comforting. Add an egg or chicken salad sandwich on a soft potato bun, plus a clementine for dessert.
What To Eat With Braces From the Cafeteria
Sometimes, you want a break from making school lunches day in and day out. Enter: cafeteria food. You’ll be happy to hear that some cafeteria faves are okay to eat with braces including:
- Mac & cheese
- Pizza (cut into small pieces and avoid the crust)
- Steamed veggies, mashed potatoes, and meatloaf
- Sloppy joes
- Fish sticks
- Apple sauce, yogurt, pudding
Your Papillion Orthodontist for A Positive Braces Journey
We hope these braces-friendly school lunch ideas have helped you kick-start the school year with fresh inspiration. Dr. Nathan Hawley is all about doing good and helping his patients have a fun and positive orthodontics experience.
Contact us if your child hasn’t had an orthodontic evaluation. At our modern, high-tech Papillion office, we’re ready to help your kiddo with an amazing smile transformation, whether with braces or Invisalign®.