Speaking of teeth…it was somewhat of a shock to the system when my good eating (i.e. he is a good eater; he does not make for good eating, I’m assuming) teenager with his brand new braces, said it hurt too much to chew on Day 2 of having them on. Particularly because on Day 1, he chawed his way happily and smugly through three packs of gum in front of his banned- from- gum-chewing siblings (that is a whole ‘nother story right there, but I’m not ready to laugh about it yet)! No reason to panic though because I had soup recipes galore. We had French Onion Soup from scratch on Day 1, and good ol’ Chicken Soup from scratch on Day 2 and creamy Smoked Cod and Potato Soup from scratch was planned for Day 3. Still he looked a little glum. He’s a big boy, I figured, he’ll say something to me when he needs to. Indeed. Instead of saying something, the ratbag just went and fainted!
What I hadn’t realised is that through a normal weekend, when I leave his weird body clock to do its own thing he steadily grazes all through the day. Being quite adept in the kitchen, he makes his own food and because it often resembles a pregnant woman’s pica cravings, I leave him to it. But, it seems, he didn’t have any recipes for sore mouth food. So except for the soup dinners, he wasn’t eating. Bad mother!
We sat down and sorted out a battle plan. It only needed to be short term because the mouth pain was certain to settle down within a week; still, fainting and malnutrition were undesirable. School days were a particular worry because the kids have a long day with two hours of bus travel. I generally send them with lots of protein: meat, cheese or egg sandwiches when possible, a piece of fruit and a muffin. For Brace Face “Up & Go” were expensive but convenient and they travel well. Bananas were preferable for fruit until an Apple Slinky peeler could be bought, and sandwiches were still OK, if a little dull, without fibrous protein like fillings. Obviously, yogurts and jellies were good treats for home. Rice and pasta weren’t as good an idea as I would have thought because they seemed to clog his braces up and everyone was getting sick of soup.
A brochure from my work in the canteen Bananaland.com.au gave us a bunch of smoothie recipes, including the one below which, naturally, can be altered beyond recognition to suit tastes. The clever bit is the Weetbix!! Perfect for getting him off to the bus with something substantial yet sippable in his stomach.
Banana Breakfast Smoothie
200ml low fat Milk
1 teaspoon honey
Add all ingredients to a blender and mix well. Add ice for a chilled smoothie.
(Vit. B6, Protein, Fubre, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Vit.C, slow release carbohydrates)
Perfect! He added Milo, more milk and another Weetbix and it’s now a family favorite, particularly for those ‘oh bugger, we slept in’ mornings.
And to avoid the soup stupor the family seemed to be falling into, I found this great recipe on the interwebs at Food Editorial.com , real comfort food that the kids (and particularly the braces wearer) love!
Baked Ham and Egg Hash Browns
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
3 cups frozen shredded hashbrown potatoes, uncooked (I used hashbrown triangles)
3/4 cup grated cheese
1 cup diced or shredded ham
4 eggs, beaten
1 can evaporated milk
1/8 teaspoon salt.
Grease a 2 quart casserole. Spoon shredded potatoes (or diced hasbrown triangles) on the bottom, then top with cheese and ham. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, tinned milk and salt. Pour over ham mixture in casserole. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or 55 – 60 if made ahead and chilled. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.
Braces Boy has no difficulties with food now, and his braces are bright green which gives me no end of pleasure saying to him “You’ve got something green in your teeth!”. He rolls his eyes at me lot more than he used to.