Tis the season of joy, and with all of these winter festivities, comes a LOT of food. Now, we don’t want to be a Grinch, but oftentimes the choices our patients make during the holidays are not the best for their dental health. In a season that seems to be centered on sugary sweets, we know it can be difficult to find healthy alternatives without feeling like you’re missing out. Luckily, Dr. Harner and his team have done some research and found some healthy, brace-friendly alternatives to sugary candy. Now, we know we aren’t as important as Santa, but here are a couple of holiday recipes that can help keep you on Dr. Harner’s “Nice List.”
Candy Cane Jell-O Cups
Candy Canes are possibly the most notable candy treat of the winter holiday season. However, unless you have the patience not to bite them, they can be dangerous to eat with braces. These Candy Cane Jello-O Cups allow you to take the festiveness of a candy cane and turn it into a healthy, easy-to-eat, family treat. Before you start, make sure you have:
- 3 (3-oz) packages of red sugar free Jell-O
- 4 (1-oz) packages of unflavored gelatin
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ a cup of cold water
- 1 container of like Cool Whip
- 6 (9-oz) clear cups
For these treats, you will create two different layers and then stack them until the cup is full.
For the red layer- Combine one package of Jell-O with half a package of unflavored gelatin in a small bowl, then add 1 cup of boiling water and stir until the Jell-O is dissolved. Let this mixture stand until cooled to room temperature, then divide between 6 cups. Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until set.
For the white layer- Mix 1 can of sweetened condensed milk with a cup of boiling water. In another small bowl, add ½ a cup of cold water. Sprinkle 2 packages of unflavored gelatin into the cold water and let this sit for a few minutes. Next, add ½ cup boiling water and stir until it is dissolved. Combine your gelatin mixture with your condensed milk mixture and stir to combine. Once it has cooled to room temperature, divide half of the milk mixture among the cups and refrigerate until set.
When you have repeated until there are three red layers and two white layers, refrigerate until set. Once finished, top your creations with Cool Whip and watch them be devoured!
Pita Christmas Trees
It seems that during December you are always getting invited to Holiday parties that require you to bring something to share. These pita bread trees are the perfect contribution! All you need to gather is
- Flavored or plain pita pocket bread
- Thin pretzel sticks
- Fat-free sour cream
- Garlic pepper
- Red bell peppers
Preparation of these treats is as easy as it gets. Start by cutting each pita fold into 8 wedges. Next, enter half of a pretzel stick into the bottom center of each wedge, creating your tree’s trunk. In a small bowl, combine ½ a cup of sour cream, ½ a cup of guacamole, and a ¼ teaspoon of garlic-pepper. Spread your guacamole mixture over the pita wedge, and sprinkle with red peppers. Voila! A healthy, delicious Christmas tree snack!
If you are looking for more festive ways to celebrate the season, or have more questions about what you shouldn’t eat while wearing braces, we encourage you to check out our Foods to Avoid list on our website, or you can contact us at our Huntington Beach office. Our team would be happy to help do everything they can to keep your smile healthy!