For those who have braces, the holidays can provide a difficult challenge. Many traditional holiday goodies contain nuts, popcorn, and overly crunchy or sticky ingredients that can pop brackets or cause other damage that will prolong the straightening process. Instead of passing on holiday treats which could cause problems, consider providing foods that everyone can enjoy.
Simple Sweet Treats
Sugar cookies are a safe option for children with braces because there are not any ingredients that will interfere with the braces. Sugar cookies are generally a softer type of cookie that retains the sweetness that kids normally crave. Kids can decorate these cookies with icings or soft fruits like raisins or chopped berries. Sugar cookies can also be alters to include chocolate chips, peanut butter cups, or other soft foods. Just make sure to chop anything too big into smaller pieces.
Bread pudding is another holiday treat that kids love, and it can still be available with a small alteration to the traditional recipe. Tear the bread into pieces instead of leaving it in solid square shapes. This will allow the bread to soften more as it will be able to soak up the sauce and sugars. Instead of adding chopped nuts, consider adding raisins or other dried fruits with soft textures. The difference in taste will be non-existent and kids will appreciate the richness of the dessert as well as the sweet flavor.
Crush the Candy Canes
If the kids like candy canes, peppermint bark will allow them to have their candy cane fix without causing potential damage to their braces. Peppermint bark is traditionally made of white chocolate with peppermint or candy cane pieces. In order to prevent the peppermint from being too large and potentially dangerous for the braces, place the candy canes in a large zip bag, and crush them using a hammer or other kitchen instrument. The pieces should resemble sand in consistency. Mix this sparsely with the white chocolate and then add peppermint flavoring to taste. Once the mixture has set, kids will be able to enjoy their favorite candy in a safe way.
Layered parfaits are another excellent way to provide delicious treats to your kids with braces, and there are so many different combinations that can be made so even the pickiest kids will enjoy it. Many of these parfaits include layers of soft ingredients like pudding, yogurt, soft fruits, and finishing sauces. Consider layering vanilla pudding and crushed graham crackers and allowing your kids to pick a fruit like strawberries or bananas as a third layer. Top the parfait with whipped cream and a touch of chocolate sauce.
New Twist on a Classic
Finally, gingerbread rolls can provide a fun take on the off-limits gingerbread cookie. Gingerbread cookies are often too crunchy for kids to have when they wear braces, and this softer alternative should satisfy the toughest of cravings. The pastry can be made by using the same recipe for cinnamon rolls. Make sure to add in ground ginger and allspice to taste. Once it is rolled out and baked, you can fill the pastry with cream cheese or other sweet fillings. Roll it up and let it sit in the refrigerator. Once it has set, cut the roll into slices and enjoy.
The important thing to remember when making holiday desserts for your kids with braces is that many recipes only take small alterations to become safe to eat.
Blogger, Peter Wendt, talked with Dr. Barbieri at his Nashville Orthodontist office about what are some braces friendly treats for his kids this holiday season.