Braces are often necessary to help straighten teeth and create a beautiful smile. However, they can also cause a problem when it comes to snacks. Kids often need snacks to help tide them over between meals so they don’t get hungry and overeat during meals.
Most parents look for snacks to ensure children are receiving the proper nutrition needed to stay healthy and strong, but choosing healthy snacks for kids with braces can be difficult. Two good snacks that fall into this category include apple slices and carrots. Cut these into small, thin slices to make it easy to eat and prevent loosening up or damaging the braces. Cherry tomatoes, celery and squash are a few more options you can try.
Soft fruits include grapes, bananas, kiwi, mango and strawberries. These can be sliced into small pieces to reduce the need to bite them and make it easier to eat. Sugar-free yogurts and smoothies make excellent soft snacks along with ice cream, applesauce, gelatin and pudding. However, steer clear of selections that have nuts and caramel in them to avoid problems with the braces.
Sometimes kids are in the mood for something crunchy but the choices are limited for kids with braces. Most snack foods with a crunch are too hard. These can cause the wires to snap or some other problem with the braces. Nevertheless, you may be able to help curb this craving with walnuts because they are soft enough to not cause damage to the braces as long as they are eaten carefully.
Kids often have a craving for something salty to snack on but potato chips, popcorn, pretzels and similar snack foods are not recommended for kids with braces. Instead, try saltine crackers. These dissolve in the mouth and become soft enough to eat while curbing the taste for a salty snack. Ritz crackers are another option that can satisfy the craving for a salty snack and you can also try the Mini Ritz cheese crackers.
The holidays are probably the hardest time of the year for kids with braces because this is when all types of candy and sweets are made available. This is especially true during Halloween when trick-or-treating and a bag full of candy is at the top of the to-do-list for most kids. However, a few options that can satisfy the sweet tooth and not do any harm include soft chocolate candy, Reese’s peanut butter cups and soft cookies.