There are many reasons why it’s important for kids with braces to eat the right types of snacks. For one, the wrong kinds of snacks can damage braces and cause them to break or come loose. This can be extremely uncomfortable for kids, and can also extend the amount of time they have to wear braces. Broken wires can poke into sensitive cheeks, and it can be hard to take time out of busy schedules to make an extra visit to the orthodontist!
Cavities are another big concern for kids with braces. Because braces make it diﬃcult to brush and ﬂoss properly, food can get trapped around the brackets and wires causing cavities and gingivitis. This can lead to tooth decay right around the silver brackets and make the gums look puffy and bleed easily.
If your child is wearing clear retainer braces such as Invisilign, they will need to be extra careful to brush after eating and before they put back on their aligners. Let’s just say your child snacks on some pretzels and puts back their aligners right afterwards. This is the perfect environment for cavities to form, since the trapped food can no longer be washed away by saliva.
But let’s face it; the best snacks for kids with braces are not always the ones kids want to eat! So, what’s a parent to do?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Let’s make this a little more fun. I’m going to ask my kids for their input, and let’s see what they think makes good snacks for kids with braces. We’re going to take a look at the best types of snacks for kids with braces based on what type of activity they are doing. So, let’s get to it!
On the go snacks for kids with braces:
-Baby bell cheese
-Soft fruit like grapes, bananas, and mandarins
-Veggies like sliced bell peppers or frozen peas (sounds strange, but my son used to love these!)
-sugar free Jell-O cups
-Hard boiled eggs
-Cucumber slices with hummus
My children’s recommendations:
-sugar fee Jell-O cups
-thin tortilla chips
-cheddar cheese cubes
-soft chocolate chip cookies
-frozen yogurt pop
You may want your child to help you prepare some of these snacks beforehand and get them ready to go when needed! Saturday or Sunday may be the perfect time to get everything ready for the week.
Kids can help with snacks by:
-Washing fruits and vegetables
-Peeling and slicing fruits and vegetables (make sure to supervise!)
-Putting fruits and vegetables into containers or bags
-Labeling containers or bags with the type of snack and the date it was made
Make sure the snacks are in easy to reach areas so they can just grab and go!
Movie theater snacks for kids with braces
It can be really hard to ﬁnd good snacks for kids with braces at the movie theater. Most of the candy is ﬁlled with sugar and sticky. Popcorn is a no-no because it can get stuck in between brackets and wires. My recommendation is to bring some of your own snacks from home so you know your child will have something good to eat that won’t damage their braces. Even my children agree with the list below!
Here are some recommendations that can be brought from home or purchased at the concession stand:
-Sugar free candy made with xylitol (delicious and prevents cavities, just make sure not to bite down on the hard candy; dissolve it slowly instead!) There are many choices that can be purchased in grocery stores, or on Amazon.
-Nachos with cheese
-Ice cold slushy
-Flavored rice cakes
-Strawberries mixed with chocolate chips sweetened with Stevia (Lily’s is a brand we like)
Your children will be sure to have fun while snacking on these braces friendly goodies at the movie theater!
School Snacks for Kids with Braces
There are many braces friendly snacks that can be made at home and brought to school. These are great because you can pop a small ice pack in the bag to keep them fresh. Here are some family favorites:
-Sunﬂower butter and jelly sandwiches cut into small squares or triangles
-Cream cheese and olive mini sandwiches cut into cute shapes
-Cream cheese and jelly, or even better add sliced cucumber with a touch of sea salt, instead of jelly, to the cream cheese
-Homemade apple sauce with cinnamon, brown sugar and a touch of nutmeg
-Creamy greek yogurt with blueberries and a dollop of honey
-Cut up fresh fruit like pineapple or watermelon
-Crunchy bell pepper slices with a side of ranch dressing
-Rice cake with sunﬂower butter and sliced bananas
And the best ideas are homemade muﬃns, which can be frozen in a ziplock bag and popped into the snack box frozen. They will simply defrost by the time snack time rolls around.
There are dozens of recipes, but my absolute favorite happen to be gluten free, moist and delicious. In fact, they taste just like a chocolate cupcake, but are packed with protein.
Mama Marie’s Gluten Free Chocolate Muﬃns Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cup smooth cashew butter (Make sure to warm it just a little to be sure you can stir it.)
-5 room temperature, large eggs
-2/3 cup honey, agave or maple syrup
-2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
-1 Tbs vanilla extract
-1 tsp kosher salt
-1 tsp baking soda
-3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
-zest from 1 orange
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muﬃn tin, or use paper muﬃn cups to prevent sticking.
- Beat slightly warmed and stirred cashew butter with room temperature eggs until smooth and ﬂuffy (5 minutes)
- Beat in honey, cocoa powder, vanilla, cardamom, salt, and baking soda. Once everything is incorporated, add the chocolate chips and then the zest for a ﬁnal mix. The mixture will be thick and glossy.
- Divide batter into the prepared muﬃn tin. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until puffed up with a cracked top. Do not over bake, or they will be dry! A toothpick or sharp knife should come out clean when inserted in the middle of the muﬃn.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 5 minutes.
- Take muﬃns out of pan and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, you can put them in an air tight container and freeze for up to 3 months, or enjoy them over the next few days.
I can’t let you go without telling you which foods children with braces should avoid. I’ve seen a lot of children with all kinds of issues with their braces, and the goodies below are the usual culprits.
-Sticky candy, especially caramels
-Biting into whole bagels, break off small pieces instead
And there you have it! The best snacks for kids with braces, whether they are on the go, at the movie theater, or at school. With a little creativity, you can ﬁnd or make snacks that are both braces friendly and delicious!