Before there were braces, there was food. At least that’s what you might be thinking if you or your child is now suffering through the “what-can-I-eat-that-won’t-get-stuck-in-my-braces” dilemma. Crunchy, chewy, and sticky foods are out of the question, which seems to leave macaroni and cheese and ice cream as the main options. Before you resign yourself to a fate of unhealthy dining and weight gain, consider these ideas for more healthy options.
Smoothies are a wonderful (and sly) way to incorporate nutrients into your diet. And they’re very simple and easy to make. A smoothie can function as a meal replacement, a dessert, or a snack. All you need to do is follow this easy guide from SuperSkinnyMe.
- Add fruit or vegetables—your choice.
- Add liquid. This can be anything—milk, tea, coffee, fruit juice, or even just plain H2O.
- Add thickener, like ice cubes, yogurt, peanut butter, or oats.
- Add flavor. Honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, and herbs are all possibilities here.
- Add a superfood, such as protein powder, flax seeds, vitamin powder, or probiotics.
Soft Foods by Food Group
Soups, stews, puddings, and mashed foods are always in vogue for braces wearers. Your orthodontist may even have recommended these food options to you. But no one wants to dine on soup and baby food endlessly.
There’s hope. In every food group, you can find items that will be soft enough for you to chew. Here are some guidelines:
Fruits and Vegetables
There are still a number of raw fruits and vegetables that are soft enough for braces—bananas, grapes, blueberries, peaches, citrus fruits, greens, cucumbers, and avocados. Otherwise, you can eat cooked or steamed vegetables that are soft or in small pieces. Applesauce and mashed potatoes are very common food choices for people with braces.
Most dairy items won’t be a problem. Soft cheeses, such as cottage cheese and brie, are good options. Hard cheese will need to be in bite-sized pieces.
Most grains, such as pastas, rice, couscous, quinoa, and grits, are soft enough for braces wearers, but seeds and unground grains should be avoided since they can get stuck between braces. Hard-crusted breads, like bagels, can also be hard to chew.
This is one of the hardest categories to navigate. Tough cuts, stringy meats, and bone-in meats are going to be no-nos for the most part. However, you can dine on things like chicken salad, meatloaf, minced hamburgers, and lunch meats. If you absolutely must have steak, you’ll need to cut it into very, very tiny pieces. Tofu is an excellent meat alternative.
Food can still be an enjoyable experience, even if you have braces. Eat well, and remember that, at the end of this, you will have that smile you always dreamed of having.