When you’re trying to keep up with fall activities, after-school sports, and grocery shopping, whipping up a balanced braces-friendly lunch can fall to the sidelines. To help make your fall semester a little less overwhelming, we’ve searched high and low to show you four mix-and-match lunch ideas that will keep students smiling and their braces safe, too.
- Meal 1: Make a PB&J on whole wheat bread. Pair it with sides of cucumber slices, yogurt or ranch dip, and string cheese. This meal is perfect for those with braces! In addition to being braces friendly, peanut butter is a great source of protein and fiber. Cucumber’s antimicrobial properties make it one of nature’s toothbrushes. Cheese is high in calcium and phosphorus, which both promote strong tooth enamel. Using whole wheat bread provides more natural vitamins, minerals, and fiber than white bread, and toasting it slightly makes your sandwich less crumbly and less likely to stick to braces!
- Meal 2: Enjoy a tasty bean salad. Choose sides of melon wedges, blueberries, banana, and reduced-fat cheddar cheese cubes. Beans are a fantastic high-protein option—plus they’re gentle on braces. Soft fresh fruits are tasty treats that balance out the meal with plenty of fiber, without going overboard on sugars. Finally, mini cheese cubes offer a soft, protein punch.
- Meal 3: Try turkey and cheese rollups with sides of apple slices and Greek yogurt. Turkey, cheese, and Greek yogurt pack this meal with a good load of protein. Although eating apples whole can potentially lead to orthodontic damage, cutting up this fresh fruit makes it perfectly braces friendly. (Just bring floss and a toothbrush in case any of the apple’s skin gets caught in appliances!) Apple slices are kid favorite that are high in fiber while still providing a braces-safe crunch.
- Meal 4: Choose a hard-boiled egg with sides of bell pepper, strawberries, and a mini corn muffin. With a tasty mix of savory, sweet, and crunch, this meal of protein-packed eggs, fibrous bell pepper, fruit, and a mini corn muffin provide a smile-safe and balanced lunch. Plus, the mini corn muffin is a teeth-friendly alternative to other sugary desserts.
A nutritious lunch gives students more energy and better focus for the entire school day, and it will show on their report cards. Planning ahead makes packing a braces-friendly school lunch easy and fun! Just encourage kids to bring along water, floss, and a toothbrush to keep those smiles clean—before and after lunchtime.