If you have a child getting braces soon, you may be looking for some braces-friendly dinner recipes and ideas. Being prepared with some soft foods is a great way to comfort your loved one, as they adjust to new braces for the first day or two.
We are currently entering round two of braces with our oldest and entering our first round with our third. Besides prepping your bank account, you want to prep your kitchen too when braces are coming to your family. I hope these ideas help you get ready!
Sloppy joes – remember those? It is such a classic recipe, but they are perfect when you are looking for the ultimate comfort food for your child with braces. It is a good alternative to a hamburger which may be a bit too chewy right after new braces. Sloppy Joes are such an easy dish!
Just combine 1 pound of hamburger with 1/8 cup of brown sugar, 1/8 cup of ketchup, and 1/8 cup of mustard. After you brown the meat, add in the sauces and sugar and allow it to simmer for at least 15 to 30 minutes. Combine it with soft bread hamburger rolls, baked sweet potatoes, and some soft steamed broccoli for the days after orthodontic treatment. Even the pickiest eater will like this soft dinner choice! You can add some melted shredded cheese for some gooey cheesy melts!
Lasagna is a go-to option that any orthodontist will love for sore teeth. You will find it on most lists of braces-friendly food ideas. If you don’t have time to make the traditional homespun classic with lasagna noodles, browned sausage and ground beef with onions, and ricotta and parmesan, consider making a simplified version.
Pick up your favorite frozen meat-filled or cheese-filled ravioli. Begin with a layer of your favorite jarred marinara sauce in a greased casserole dish. Next, add a layer of frozen ravioli and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Add one more layer of ravioli and 2 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese. Top with the rest of the jarred marinara sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover and finish baking for 15-20 more minutes. This option may be a better choice if you are short on time and need an Italian fix for your braces-friendly cooking! You can easily cut it up into small pieces for your child.
Vegetable stir-fry is another great option for softer foods. As a general rule, raw vegetables like raw carrots will be a challenge for kids with new braces. A simple stir fry allows you to soften the vegetables to your preferences, steaming them a bit longer for your child with braces.
Simply heat some olive oil, add in a great source of protein like chicken or shrimp, and saute some healthy veggies like celery, carrots, onion, and bok choy. Add in some rice wine vinegar and soy sauce and steam with a lid on until the veggies are softened. Serve with some fluffy, soft rice, and dinner is done!
Baked Potato Bar
A baked potato bar is perfect for a child with braces, and the good news, the whole family will love it. Just scrub baking potatoes, poke a few holes in them with a fork, wrap them in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. I usually flip mine after about 30 minutes and bake until I can easily squeeze them.
Put the potatoes out with some great toppings and make your own baked potato bar! I like to add sour cream, crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, and green onions. Half of your ingredients are probably already in your fridge! Giving my kids some choice at mealtime is usually the best part of dinner, so I love offering a buffet option for children.
Boneless Chicken Wings
Another great option for dinner after braces are boneless chicken wings. Chicken is a good source of protein and you can easily add soft sides like mashed potatoes and green peas for an easy family-friendly meal. Any opportunity to eat wings wins me a mom of the year award from my kids! Costco makes a good-to-go alternative if you don’t feel up to prepping them yourself. If you do want to prep them at home, try this recipe!
Simple smoothies are a must for braces-friendly treats. If your son or daughter isn’t up for a full meal, smoothies can provide comfort and sustenance in the meantime. For a simple smoothie, combine 1 cup of frozen fruit with 2-4 servings of protein powder or Greek yogurt with 1/3-1 cup of liquid like almond milk, water, or juice. You can customize the fruits and liquids according to your son or daughter’s preferences, making it a better option than unlimited ice cream. (Though a little ice cream is ok!)
Chicken Noodle Soup
Is anything as comforting as a bowl of chicken noodle soup? We like to add this to our school lunch ideas and weekly meal rotation, especially in the winter months. You can keep this super simple. I just saute onion, celery, and carrots until they are softened in olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Add in shredded chicken (this is a perfect use for leftover rotisserie chicken), one carton of chicken broth (or homemade broth), and egg noodles. Simmer with your favorite spices and serve.
What should we avoid after braces?
Follow your orthodontist’s advice but of course avoid sticky foods, super crunchy foods, and hard foods in the time right after new brackets, new braces, or orthodontic adjustments. Hard candy, chewy candies, and raw fruit and veggies will be difficult to handle.
What else can help with pain after braces?
Be sure to have some ice packs and pain relievers like Tylenol or ibuprofen on hand after dental work. Keep in touch with your orthodontist if the pain doesn’t subside after a day or two.
I hope this list helps your family prepare some braces-friendly recipes for the days ahead! Be sure to sign up below for my free meal planning ideas to keep dinner time as easy as possible.