School Lunch-Packing Ideas for Kids with Braces

With kids heading back to school soon (and some already started), it’s time to get back into the routine of packing lunches. Picky eaters can make lunch-packing a challenge, but add some orthodontic braces to the mix and it can make things even more challenging! But don’t worry – we’re here to help. Keep reading for tips and braces-friendly lunch ideas to help make lunch-packing a breeze!

Children and teens with braces need to pay particular attention to what they’re eating, and they need to adjust their diets to avoid foods that can get stuck in braces and damage or break them. The key rule to remember is that they should always avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky and chewy!

Foods to never pack for lunch while your child wears braces:

  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Corn chips
  • Hard pretzels
  • Chewy, hard crusts (like pizza crust)
  • Very sticky or crunchy peanut butter
  • Hard or sticky candy (such as gummy bears, caramel, Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, taffy, etc. In fact, any candy is just best to avoid with braces – but if your child does have it, they should brush soon after)

Braces-friendly lunch food ideas:

  • Sandwich with lunch meats
  • Tuna, chicken or egg salad sandwich (try this yummy egg salad recipe here: http://bit.ly/eggsaladrecipe)
  • Peanut butter & banana or jelly sandwich – your child can still enjoy her beloved PB&J, just make sure the peanut butter is creamy and not super sticky
  • Potato or pasta salad
  • Soft fruits – bananas, strawberries, kiwi, avocado, etc. You can even do apples, just make sure they’re thinly sliced.
  • Plain Greek yogurt with soft fruit
  • Hard boiled eggs or deviled eggs
  • Casseroles
  • Cheese or hummus and light crackers like Ritz (not crunchy)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Applesauce, yogurt, pudding
  • Jello
  • Potato chips
  • Soft pretzels (try this recipe here: http://bit.ly/softpretzelrecipe)

Try to mix things up so your child doesn’t get stuck eating the same foods every day. Are they getting bored of plain applesauce? Add some cinnamon or get a kind with another fruit added. Check out Pinterest for more soft-food recipes, or try out “The Braces Cookbook” by Pamela Waterman and Brenda Waterman (on Amazon).

If you have any questions about foods to avoid with braces, be sure to check with your doctor!

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