What are some easy, healthy snacks I can eat with braces?
September 16, 2009 5:36 PM   Subscribe

What are some easy, healthy snacks I can eat with braces?

I have trouble keeping to a regular eating schedule, so it's important that I have quick and easy snacks on hand. This used to mean things like baby carrots with hummus, apples, almonds, and beef jerky. Now that I have braces, I can't eat anything crunchy or chewy, and I'm having trouble coming up with a variety of good replacements and I'm getting sick of Ensure, yogurt and apple sauce.

Relevant info: I am a college student with a small fridge in my dorm room and access to a microwave. I would prefer things that I can transport with me for those times I find myself in the library at 4 pm and realize that I haven't eaten yet that day, but more creative ideas that require a bit of preparation are okay for those times I'm in my room. Bonus points for stuff I won't immediately have to brush my teeth after eating (so, no lettuce wraps, please.)
posted by cosmic osmo to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Get canned mandarin oranges. Fruit smoothies. Tomato soup. Hunks of cheese.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 5:44 PM on September 16, 2009

A few braces-safe snacks I like:

- Regular or refried beans with cheese and salsa, maybe over rice (if you can conveniently get/store cooked rice), microwaved.

- Avocado with salt and pepper.

- Hummus, thinly-sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, maybe some sprouts in a pita.

- Savory yogurt--plain, unflavored yogurt mixed with crushed garlic and chopped cucumber, seasoned with salt and pepper and maybe some lemon juice.

- Instant oatmeal (buy plain and doctor it yourself if you're worried about the sugar content).

On preview: soup's a great idea. You can even use it to soften up otherwise too-crunchy crackers and croutons. Try the soup in the deli section of your grocery store, it will likely be tastier than canned varieties.
posted by Meg_Murry at 5:55 PM on September 16, 2009

I still ate carrots and apples- I just cut them up with my pocket knife first.
posted by small_ruminant at 6:02 PM on September 16, 2009

Yeah, just cut crunchy things up--it's mostly the 'biting into' part that's the problem, not the actual 'chewing with molars' part.

(for what it's worth, I don't even think I obeyed the rules very much, only when my teeth were sore from having the braces tightened. Never had any problems. Of course, I was also only 15, so there ya go.)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 6:18 PM on September 16, 2009

small_ruminant: because of the way my bite is being fixed, my molars do not touch, so I really can't eat anything that requires chewing beyond what I can do with my canines (and my tongue pushing against my palate), so no carrots or apples at all for me :(
posted by cosmic osmo at 6:21 PM on September 16, 2009

How about peanut butter crackers or peanut butter and jelly crackers? Like Ritz or similar. Since crackers like that crumble so easily, you don't need your molars and could even chew them with your incisors, pushing the stuff into them with your tongue. Then, you know, kind of smoosh it around a bit and swallow. Just trying to think of anything that's not straight goop.
posted by Askr at 6:40 PM on September 16, 2009

Vegetable juice can be bery satisfying, and easy to carry.
Hard boiled eggs.
posted by Sara Anne at 6:40 PM on September 16, 2009

Smoothies/milkshakes - you can get a cheap immersion blender if you don't want to buy a real blender. An immersion blender won't work for ice, but it works well for yogurt/milk/ice cream/soy milk/juice plus fresh or frozen fruit/ peanut butter/ chocolate sauce etc. It's probably easiest to make & drink at home, but you can also get leakproof bottles to take with you if you're going to have it within a few hours (that will probably work better for fruit based smoothies - just add a couple chunks of ice to keep it cool - than milkshakes).

You can buy single-serving packets of peanut butter and almond butter some places - I've seen both at Whole Foods, and PB at the regular supermarket. They would be good to keep in your backpack all the time, since they don't go bad and are small. Eat it with a spoon if you don't have anything else around, get some bread or crackers if you can manage them (I'm not sure from your description how well you can chew).
posted by insectosaurus at 7:19 PM on September 16, 2009

Fresh tomatoes and soft mozzarella cheese. No cooking, no melting, no heating. Just cut 'em up raw and eat 'em both at the same time. Tastes surprisingly awesome.

If you buy soft bread and cut the crusts off, you can make all kinds of sandwiches: peanut butter and jelly; grilled cheese; cream cheese and cucumber; tuna salad; egg salad; etc. You could even do ham and cheese or roast beef if you cut the meat and cheese up into small enough pieces.

Thoroughly cooked potatoes shouldn't pose a problem, nor should pasta; both of these things may be made into salads for lunch/snacks.

Also, if you can figure out a way to do it without breaking college fire codes, I recommend getting a crock pot. It's a low-effort way to make foods soft and easy to chew, including meat and vegetables; it doesn't matter if you end up eating dinner a couple hours late (it won't burn your food if you're doing it right); and it's something you will continue to use long after your braces are gone.
posted by Commander Rachek at 7:37 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here's some more ideas,

Archwired has a ton of great resources and forums for adults with orthodontia. And it gets better I promise!
posted by for_serious at 9:53 PM on September 16, 2009

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