Back-to-School can be a hectic time of year. Between new class schedules, helping kids with homework, and getting into the swing of sports practices, the last thing on your mind may be what to pack for lunch. But if your children have braces, coming up with a plan is important! So, we’re doing some of the hard work for you with a few school lunch ideas that are both braces- and kid-friendly.
• Cold Cut Sandwiches: Sliced meats and soft bread seem like a no-brainer, but be careful about the type of deli meat you use. Avoid chewy options like boiled hams or thicker slices of roast beef. Ask your local deli to slice your meat super thin or even chipped. That will make the sandwich easy to eat and tasty too. And be sure your bread is extra soft!
• Peanut Butter & Jelly: It doesn’t get much softer than this! Obviously, creamy peanut butter (or any nut butter you prefer) is the way to go. Watch out for jellies and fruit preserves with seeds, such as raspberry and strawberry preserves, as they can get stuck in braces. Also, creamy nut butters can stick to braces, so make sure to brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth out after eating!
• Pasta Salad: Lettuce-based salads don’t keep fresh when you’re brown bagging it, but that’s not the only option! Pasta salad is the perfect lunch for a kid with braces. You can make pasta salad in bulk at the beginning of the week and simply dish out portions as needed.
• Warm Foods: Some kids have access to microwaves at lunchtime, making food preparation a snap. Soups, macaroni & cheese, pasta with marinara sauce are all super easy to reheat and eat with braces.
Make sure to avoid hard, crunchy foods in your lunch bags. Adding a bag of chips to your child’s lunch may simply be a part of your routine, but it’s best to avoid them. Also, beware of crunchy and/or chewy raw vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery. They’re certainly a healthier option for your body, but they can create problems for kids with braces. Sticky foods like candy and bubble gum are also off limits. And lay off those acidic and sugary drinks!