What to Pack in School Lunch for Children With Braces

Posted on September 3, 2019

It’s no secret that back-to-school time can be a bit stressful for both kids and parents. However, at Cardinal Orthodontics we want to eliminate the stress that comes with packing a school lunch for children with braces. In this blog, we will give helpful tips on braces-friendly lunches that will keep your child satisfied and energized throughout the entire day.

Foods to Avoid While Packing Your Child’s School Lunch

The general rule to follow when eating with braces is to avoid anything too hard, crunch, or chewy. Some examples of these types of foods are:

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Nuts
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candy
  • Beef jerky
  • Bagels
  • Hard pretzels
  • Meat on the bone
  • Popcorn
  • Licorice
  • Laffy taffy
  • Gum (that isn’t sugar free)
  • Sports drinks high in sugar

Some of these sound crazy, right?! Apples and carrots are a healthy snacks for children to pack in their school lunch – so why can’t they eat these fruits/vegetables with braces on their teeth? Unfortunately, some very healthy foods are just too hard to bite in to. This causes broken brackets, and an extra trip to see your orthodontist. One option would be to cut your child’s apple slices into small, bite sized pieces. Not only does this make them easier to consume, but also decreases the chances of a bracket falling off.

Good Food Options to Include in School Lunch for Children with Braces

Foods that are soft in texture, but high in nutritional value are great options to include for your child in their school lunch. Some examples of these foods are:

  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Egg salad
  • Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
  • Sliced lunch meat. Ex: Ham, Turkey, or Bologna
  • Applesauce
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Jello
  • Avocados
  • Canned peaches with cottage cheese
  • Sliced bananas and peanut butter
  • Quinoa
  • Soft, boiled eggs

Many of these lunch options are high in protein AND easy to chew with braces. It’s a win-win!

Children with Braces who Eat the Hot, School Lunch

If your child eats a hot lunch at school, there are usually many braces-friendly options for them as well. At Cardinal Orthodontics, we do our best to educate each patient on types of foods they should and shouldn’t be eating with their braces on. Here are some examples of school lunch items that are great for children with braces:

  • Pasta/Mac and Cheese
  • Soft Pizza
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Cooked Vegetables
  • Taco Salad
  • Chili/Soup
  • Casseroles
  • Fish sticks
  • Sloppy joes
  • Meat loaf
  • Soft French fries

As you can see, schools offer a variety of healthy food options for children who Keep an eye on your child’s school lunch menu, and pack a “braces-friendly” meal on days where soft foods are not an option for them.

Snacks for Kids with Braces

Many schools allow children to pack mid-morning snacks to hold them over until lunch. Here are some snack options to pack for your child with braces:

  • Gogurt
  • Smoothies
  • String cheese
  • Canned fruit
  • Oatmeal
  • Protein shakes
  • Peanut butter
  • French toast sticks
  • Grapes
  • Thinly sliced watermelon
  • Soft granola bars
Categories: Orthodontic Treatment
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