Having braces is a challenge. But having a kid with braces is a whole different challenge. A child has to struggle with pain, discomfort, and restriction thanks to braces fixing their alignment issues, and that can put a lot of stress and strain on a parent. One of the most challenging aspects of aging a child with braces is figuring out what to cook when they have such restrictions on what they can eat. But there are several things you can do to make preparing food for your kid with braces easier. Here are three things to keep in mind when preparing meals for your kid with braces.
Know What to Avoid
The first thing to help you prepare meals for your kids with braces is to know what you should avoid. When your child has braces, there are certain foods and categories of food that they cannot eat, because they can cause damage to the braces. Many of the foods that your kid is going to have to avoid are snack foods, which can make meal prep a bit easier for you, but there are still some foods they need to avoid. For instance, nuts are no good for braces, so you should avoid any casseroles or pastas that have nuts in them.
Prepare Meals Properly
The next thing you can do to prepare meals for your kid with braces is to ensure that you are preparing their meals properly. There are some foods that, while you can eat them with braces, it helps to prepare in a special way to avoid pain, difficulty chewing, or damage to the braces. For instance, with raw veggies, crusty breads, hard fruits like apples, burgers, and sandwiches, etc. Cutting food into smaller pieces can make them easier to eat for those with braces.
Let Your Kids Choose
The final thing that you can do to prepare meals for your kid with braces is get them involved in the decision. They may not be able to eat some of their favorite meals while they have braces, so it may do well to ask them what they would like. Things like pastas, stews, soups, and other softer meal options are great, since they don’t require much force to chew. Let your kid get involved in the meal prep decisions so that they still get something they crave that works with their braces.
There is no easy way to help your child through their braces phase. But one thing you can do is to help prepare meals that they can eat. Follow these three pieces of advice to make meal prep for a kid with braces as easy and stress free as possible.
Read this next: Key Nutrients You May Not Be Getting Enough Of