Eat Up: Braces-Friendly Recipes Your Kids Will Love

When 11-year-old Taylor Wainwright was asked what he likes least about wearing braces, his answer was immediate: “I haven’t had a Snickers bar in seven months, and it’s killing me!” Sarcasm aside, kids with braces aren’t too keen on giving up their favorite foods—such as caramel candies, Gummy Bears and bubble gum. (For a complete list of bad-for-your-braces food, click here.) Fear not: We’ve whipped up 5 braces-friendly recipes guaranteed to make your child flash his tin grin. Bon Apetit!        

a;">Banana Bonanza Smoothie

Funky Fruit Punch
Perfect Potato Pancakes
Crispy Oven-Baked Fish Filets
Peerless Pumpkin Pie

a;">1. What a Smoothie!
Your kids will go ape for this delicious Banana Bonanza Smoothie. Best of all, it’s high in calcium (great for young teeth and bones) and easy to make (great for you).

a;">Banana Bonanza Smoothie (makes one 8-ounce serving)


4 ice cubes
1 ¼ cup low-fat chocolate milk
1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon wheat germ


Place the ice cubes, chocolate milk, banana chunks and wheat germ into a blender. Blend together on medium speed until smooth (about 20 seconds), making sure all ice chips dissolve. Pour into a tall glass, and enjoy!

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2. Pack a Punch

If you can’t eat them, cream them. That’s the motto of fruit-loving braces-wearers everywhere who keep their tin grins great by liquefying hard-to-chew fruits.  

Funky Fruit Punch (makes one 8-ounce serving)

1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
½ cup fresh berries (frozen berries work, too)
1 cup pineapple, grape or orange juice.

Place all of the ingredients into a blender. Blend together on medium until smooth (about 30 seconds). Pour contents into a pitcher, and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Pour into a tall glass, and enjoy!

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3. One Potato, Two Potatoes…

Craving potato chips? Nix your fix with these Perfect Potato Pancakes, a healthy snack that tastes even better with a dollop of applesauce.     

Perfect Potato Pancakes (makes 6 medium pancakes)

1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
½ diced small onion
1½ tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 cup milk
1½ cups cubed raw potatoes
Non-stick vegetable spray

Salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth (about 20-30 seconds). Coat a frying pan with the non-stick vegetable spray, and place over medium heat. Pour a portion of the pancake batter into the frying pan. Cook until the underside is golden brown, about two minutes. Turn the quesadilla over with a spatula. Continue to cook, until the bottom turns golden brown, about two minutes. Cook until the underside is golden brown, about two minutes. Turn the quesadilla over with a spatula. Continue to cook, until the bottom turns golden brown, about two minutes. Using a spatula, place the potato pancake on a plate. Repeat directions for the remaining batter. Salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to top the potato pancakes with a dollop of apple sauce.

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4. Go Fish!

Looking for a healthy alternative to the fried fish sandwiches found at most fast-food joints? Try serving your child our Crispy Oven Baked Fish Filets—we think they’ll get along swimmingly.    

Crispy Oven-Baked Fish Filets (serves two people)

1 pound fresh or frozen fish fillets (cod, orange roughy or trout works great)
Non-stick vegetable spray
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup bread crumbs


If using frozen fish fillets, thaw thoroughly. Cut the fillets into the serving-size pieces of your choice. Coat a shallow backing dish with the non-stick vegetable spray; then place the fillets in the greased baking dish. Sprinkle the filets with the lemon juice and salt and pepper. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Add the flour to the butter, and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the milk, and cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Pour the butter mixture over the fish fillets; then top with the bread crumbs. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 30 minutes or until the fish starts to flake easily. Using a spatula, place the fillets on a plate, and serve warm.

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5. The Great Pumpkin

Make everyday Thanksgiving with this palate-pleasing Peerless Pumpkin Pie. Turkey and cranberry sauce are optional.

Peerless Pumpkin Pie (serves 8)

1 9-inch pre-made graham cracker crust
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin filling
1 5-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin filling, pudding mix, milk and pumpkin pie spice. Beat until blended (about 45-60 seconds). Fold in 1½ of the whipped topping. Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the graham cracker crust. Place the pie in the freezer for two hours or until firm. Move the pie from the freezer to the refrigerator; store there for another hour before serving. Top the pie with the remaining whipped topping. If you’d like, garnish with fresh fruit (such as raspberries) or shaved chocolate.

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Further Reading

For more about kids and braces, see our Complete Guide to Orthodontics.