When your teen has braces and is limited in their food options, you’ll need to figure out reliable food options for each meal. Lunchtime can be especially tricky since kids are typically off at school or you’re at work or out running errands during the day. Here are some simple lunch ideas for your teens that will keep their braces in good condition.
Sandwiches Are a Great Lunch Option
It’s hard to go wrong with a tasty sandwich for lunch. However, you will need to be a bit pickier than usual with your sandwich ingredients when your kids have braces. Stick to softer bread without crunchy seeds or nuts. It’s also best to avoid starchy white bread since it can quickly become sticky and cause tooth decay. Seedless whole wheat bread is typically the best way to go.
You should also stick to soft deli meats that are easy to eat while avoiding any crunchy vegetables. Tuna sandwiches are plenty soft enough for braces and are a tasty and easy sandwich to prepare. When it comes to the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, stick to creamy peanut butter and seedless jam.
Biting into any type of sandwich can potentially damage the brackets and wires on the front teeth. Cutting the sandwich into bite-size pieces will ensure their braces stay safe.
Fruits and Veggies for Your Teen’s Lunches
Including fruits and vegetables in lunch is essential for making sure your teens get plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Of course, you’ll want to avoid foods like whole apples, raw broccoli, and carrots since they will be too crunchy for braces. Softer fruits such as oranges, peaches, and bananas are great alternatives. Including a tasty peanut butter and banana sandwich is also a great way to go.
Other Proteins Safe for Braces
You can also choose some alternatives to meat for sources of protein in your teens’ lunches, such as hard-boiled eggs, greek yogurt, and tofu. Beans are full of protein and are very soft and easy to eat with braces. Most types of cheese should also be perfectly fine to eat with braces.
Chips and Crunchy Snacks
Chips are often a staple side to have with sandwiches and other lunch food items. While not all chips are off-limits while your teen has braces, you’ll need to carefully choose the types of chips your teen eats. Most plain potato chips, like classic Lays or Pringles, are soft enough for braces. Crunchier varieties like kettle-cooked potato chips or tortilla chips are too hard to safely eat with braces. Similarly, your teen should stick to softer Cheetos puffs rather than the crunchy kind.
Other Braces-Safe Lunch Ideas
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to get creative when preparing a tasty and nutritious lunch for your teens. If you want to whip up a meal with lots of nutritional value that will easily be safe to eat, a casserole is always a good way to go. Pita bread and hummus is also a tasty choice that’s light, yet rich in protein. Most pasta or pasta salad recipes should be just fine for braces and will easily make for a satisfactory lunch.