Snacks friendly for braces!
September 1, 2014 6:50 PM   Subscribe

I've had braces for about 4 months now and I really miss my hard foods to snack on ! What are some good soft foods that I can snack on while I have braces?

complication: I really detest raw vegetables (if you can help me overcome that, that wouldn't hurt) and hard-boiled eggs.

I have a very high metabolism so I snack quite often. Right now, I'm eating 2-3 jars of peanut butter a week, hummus, wheat thins and rice cakes, yogurt, pudding, hummus, and salad (although it's not very filling) outside of my meals.

My previous staples (granola, all kinds of nuts, trail mix, and homemade popcorn) which accounted for the vast majority of my snacking, are no-go and I miss them!

What other snacks friendly for soft teeth am I missing? No refrigeration or cooking are bonus points but not required.
posted by fizzix to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a little confused. When I had braces, I could definitely eat things like granola and nuts. Popcorn was a little annoying, but it was more sticky foods that were out (things like taffy). Maybe try your old snacks, and just eat carefully?

Alternately, this soft-bake granola looks awesome. Naturebox also makes some awesome soft-bake granolas (the pb&j granola and the cherry granola are awesome and would definitely not be hard on braces). You could also try making these date energy bars -- there are tons of recipes online with flavor variations so you can make a variety.

Other things that occur to me:
* Cheesesticks
* Cubed cantaloupe/watermelon/grapes/strawberries/etc. Make a big container at the beginning of the week and it lasts pretty well. Or you can buy the pre-portioned containers but it's more expensive.
* Frozen bananas (dip in chocolate before freezing for a treat)
* Check out the "dips" section at the grocery (especially a Trader Joes if you have one close) and branch out from hummus...I am particularly fond of muhammara and baba ghanoush, as well as the blue cheese-walnut dip at Trader Joe's.
* Quick quesadillas - sandwich grated cheese between two tortillas, heat up in a non-stick skillet, and eat! You can fancy it up by adding in leftovers (grilled chicken, roasted veggies, etc.) and salsa.
posted by rainbowbrite at 7:46 PM on September 1, 2014

Try Pirate's Booty as a popcorn replacement.
posted by Requiax at 8:05 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

The 2-3 jars of PB a week is impressive, but other than that, it seems like you could bulk up your protein intake more, which might decrease the need for some of the snacks so you could space them out more? What about meaty stuff like beef or salmon jerky? Or having cheese and deli meats on your wheat thins?

Many grocery or other gourmet shops nowadays also sell quite a variety of "salads" that aren't raw vegetables for the most part, like caprese salads or quinoa/farro/other grains, pasta salads.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:12 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

(I also understood you to mean that it wasn't that you were forbidden from eating nuts, but that having braces that are being tightened makes it painful to eat hard foods… at least this is something I remember from many years ago with my orthodontics…)
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:13 PM on September 1, 2014

This doesn't exactly answer your question but do you have a WaterPik? I had braces last year and my waterpik was AWESOME help for getting stuff out of my braces that shouldn't be there in the first place, like not-exactly-allowed snacks.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 8:36 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ripe fruit. I remember chewing a baloney sandwhich with my freaking toungue after my braces were tightened. Gah.

This might seem counterintuitive and well, rude, but some of the foods they give to teething children might supply some nutrition be appropriate for your metabolism. Baby biscotti comes to mind.
posted by vapidave at 9:19 PM on September 1, 2014

Best answer: First: I find raw veggies much more palatable after a bath in ranch dressing.

Second: softer protein bars in place of granola?

Third: Babybel mini cheeses are the best snack ever.

Fourth: agree that I'm surprised these foods are no-go? Whole apples, corn on the cob, maybe big nuts like walnuts might be problematic, but popcorn and smaller softer nuts like peanuts or pistachios seem reasonable...? FWIW I was pretty casual about my braces food restrictions, including chewing gum, and my only broken bracket was due to rock candy.
posted by olinerd at 9:57 PM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I make homemade popcorn all the time, but lately when I've had the salt craving I've been switching it up and eating roasted and lightly salted seaweed; it hits the same craving receptors, is even easier to make (open a packet, done), and is quite healthy. I linked one I like but I have no brand loyalty and just try to find the ones that have no MSG and just seaweed, salt, and oil as ingredients.

Also I sometimes make my own dried and lightly salted kale for similar purposes, but that takes more effort. I've seen them sell similar products at Whole Foods though I think they're spiced with more flavorings than I do at home.
posted by vegartanipla at 10:08 PM on September 1, 2014

I was also pretty casual with my braces restrictions. I avoided celery because the strings would wrap themselves around the wires, and yeah, stuff like candy apples that are a combination of hard and sticky. But I did wind up eating basically normally, even stuff like frozen peach slices, and I was definitely eating granola bars for breakfast some of that time. (Though I hate them.) I did always avoid foods like taffy and candy apples, but I'm pretty sure I was eating whole fruits without slicing them. I never knocked a bracket off.

For snack ideas, though, maybe stock up on pepperoni, salami, soppresatta? (Don't buy Bridgford pepperoni though, it's gross.) Or if you're not as nitrate-happy as I am, sliced deli turkey or roast beef. You don't say how shelf-stable you need it to be, but eh, sausage is a method of preserving meat, so.

Also: olives, pickles, kimchee. Roasted chickpeas are a little on the crunchy side, but I don't think braces-dangerous unless you way over-roast them, so worth a try for you if you're missing crunchy foods.
posted by Andrhia at 5:00 AM on September 2, 2014

« Older Arm my 12 year old   |   Private Dining for Four Cats? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.