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Quick School Lunch Ideas for Children with Braces

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healthy school lunch

These days, many parents are finding themselves doing something they haven’t in about 5-6 months—packing their child’s lunch for them to bring to school! If your child has braces in Westerville, choosing the right items will not only help them stay healthy and energized throughout the day, but it will also let them avoid any orthodontic mishaps that might throw off their treatment. For tips on which foods to include and avoid as recommended by a children’s orthodontist, read on below.

Food’s to Avoid in Your Child’s Lunch

In general, foods that are particularly hard, chewy, or sticky should be left out of your child’s lunchbox (or paper bag if you’re old school). These can accidentally dislodge brackets or get stuck in wires, and no one wants that right before math class! So for now, your child’s lunch should NOT include items like:

  • Whole apples
  • Whole carrots
  • Nuts
  • Hard candy
  • Beef jerky
  • Bagels
  • Hard pretzels
  • Popcorn (unless it comes from a pre-popped bag)
  • Sticky candy (taffy, caramels)
  • Gum

Orthodontist Approved Foods

Ideally, your child’s lunch should consist of easily chewable but still highly nutritious foods. A few examples are:

  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Egg salad
  • Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
  • Sliced lunch meat
  • Applesauce
  • Yogurt (just avoid varieties with a lot of added sugar)
  • Avocados
  • Canned peaches
  • Sliced bananas and peanut butter
  • Soft boiled eggs
  • Chocolates/pudding (because every child deserves the occasional sweet treat)

Be sure to have your child try and let you know which of these items they like the most before you start packing them.

Tips for Children Who Get Lunch At School

If your child is on a meal plan at school, or if you just don’t have time to pack their lunch one day (we’ve all had those mornings), it’s important they know which foods they’ll encounter in the lunch line that are braces-friendly.  A few typical school lunch items that are good for children with braces include:

  • Pasta/mac and cheese
  • Pizza (though NOT thin, crispy crust)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Rice
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Chili/Soup
  • Fish sticks
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Meatloaf
  • French fries/tater tots

Eating the right diet is an essential part of any orthodontic treatment, and by using these lists as your guide, you can rest assured that your child’s road to a straight and healthy smile will be as smooth as possible.

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is a proud father of 3, so he and his wife have definitely packed a school lunch or two! He’s also an award-winning children’s and adult orthodontist. At his practice, Shirck Orthodontics, he and his dedicated team use the latest technology to provide fully personalized care that can correct crooked, crowded, and gapped teeth. If your child is ready for braces, we can get them started right away with a FREE in-person consultation. Contact us today to schedule