Happy Belly, Happy Smile

Houston Pediatric Dentistry Blog

Happy Belly, Happy Smile

Visiting an orthodontist is the first step to a healthier, straighter smile, but wearing braces involves a few lifestyle changes that your child may be nervous about. One of the most common questions orthodontists get is concerning braces and food. Yes, your child will have to make certain adjustments to their diet, such as avoiding hard and sticky foods.

That certainly doesn’t mean that your family meals will become bland and boring. Before thinking that your summer will be filled with only soup if your child gets braces, check out these three healthy and tasty recipe examples. You’ll see that there are plenty of foods to make your family’s belly happy while your child’s braces work on that happy smile.

Twisted Strawberry Mint Lemonade

Lemonade and strawberries scream that summertime has arrived, right? But, let’s make our lemonade really dance with a twist of mint. If you really want to feel like you’re on a beach, substitute the water in this recipe with coconut water.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz can of your favorite lemonade concentrate
  • 1 lemon sliced in ovals
  • The zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 1/4 cup of Splenda or sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup of sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Water

Method:

  • Pour the thawed lemonade concentrate into a large spouted pitcher
  • Stir in a little less than a gallon of water
  • Add the lemon zest and lemon juice stirring well to incorporate
  • In a large muddling bowl, muddle your mint leaves and sugar together
  • Muddle your strawberries in and add the mixture to the pitcher
  • Cover and chill for at least two hours
  • Serve over ice, if you’d like; best served strained, but not required
  • Garnish with a slice of lemon

 

Pasta Fredda

This recipe combines the love of pasta with healthy veggies. It’s light enough for the summer heat, but still very filling and satisfying. Of course, you can always kick the nutrition up with some chopped spinach, kale, leeks, squash or zucchini. Just cook any harder veggies down in stock or water and cool before adding.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz package of bow tie pasta
  • 7-8 oz package of fresh mozzarella balls (bocconcini)
  • 1 cup of black olives
  • 25 cherry tomatoes cut in halves
  • 3 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  • Boil pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside to cool
  • Once cooled, add all ingredients to pasta in a large bowl and toss to incorporate

 

Chicken Enchiladas

This Tex-Mex recipe takes use of a lot of pantry staples to offer you a quick and tasty meal to spice up your summer nights. You can even use a pre-ready rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store to save a lot of time.

Ingredients:

  • 6 enchilada tortillas (12 inch)
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice for the top
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice for the filling
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 oz can of diced green chilies
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Cooking spray or olive oil

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray or grease a large baking dish
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add butter, onions, green onion, and bell pepper; cook until onion is translucent
  • Add seasoning, soup, milk, chilies, and sour cream
  • Remove about 3/4 of the sauce and set aside
  • Add cheese and chicken to the remaining 1/4 sauce in the saucepan, stirring until smooth
  • Evenly distribute the filling between the six tortillas and roll them up
  • Place the enchiladas seam side-down in your baking dish and cover with the remaining sauce and cheese
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown
  • Garnish with extra cheese, sour cream, and green onions if you’d like

Do You Need More Braces Info and Tips?

If you’re considering braces for your child, don’t let their diet stand in the way of gaining a healthy smile. Contact us today to discuss whether or not your child is ready for braces and how to get more info on what life with braces could entail.

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