We know that when kids get braces, they sometimes have a hard time adjusting to their new diet, which excludes anything chewy, sticky, hard and crunchy. It can also be challenging for parents to come up with a variety of braces-friendly dinner ideas that kids will love. Sometimes people end up making the same few dishes over and over, and kids get bored of them quickly. To help you avoid getting stuck in the mac & cheese rut, we’ve gathered a few delicious and healthy dinner recipes that will help your child forget about what they’re missing out on!
Dinner Recipes for Kids with Braces:
(Recipe from the Pioneer Woman — she says it’s the only dish that both her husband and kids love):
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
2 cups cooked chicken
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two-inch pieces
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 jar (4 ounce) diced pimentos, drained
2 cups reserved chicken broth from pot
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup additional grated sharp cheddar cheese
1) Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.
2) Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil.)
Vegetarian Dinner Recipes for Kids with Braces:
Trying to get your child to eat more veggies? Here are some yummy recipe ideas that are loaded with veggies and will have your child asking for seconds!
(Recipe from FrugalLivingNW.com)
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa at room temperature
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup finely chopped chives or green onions
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow or white onion
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (goat or feta cheese is good, too)
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil, for cooking
1) To cook quinoa: Combine 2 cups of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 3 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. (This will make more than you need for this recipe. Cool and refrigerate or freeze the rest for later!)
2) To make quinoa patties: Combine 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
3) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, shape 12 1″-thick quinoa patties. They don’t have to be perfect. I’ve found the easiest way is to scoop 1/4 cup (use a measuring cup) of the mixture into wet hands, quickly press it into small patties, and slide it into the hot oil with a spatula.
4) Cover and cook for 4-6 minutes until the underside is golden brown, flip, and repeat until the other side is also a golden brown and the quinoa patty is firm (cooked in the middle). Serve hot or cold with your choice of toppings, if any.
Soup Recipes for Kids with Braces
Soup is always a safe bet – and especially a great go-to in the fall months as the weather cools down. You can add some heated soup to a thermos so your kid can have it at school. Yum!
For more ideas, a great place to find recipes is Pinterest. Check out this slow cooker recipe Pinterest board: 25+ Slow Cooker Recipes Kids Love.
If you have any questions about which foods to eat with braces, be sure to check with your doctor!