Fall is here and you know the drill – leaves change color, football once again takes over our TVs, pumpkin spice rules the world, temperatures drop and we are all left craving warmer foods. It’s time for you and your braces to embrace the cool temps with these festively fall recipes:



Turkey, White Bean & Pumpkin Chili

Chili is the ultimate comfort food for fall and winter as it will warm you up on a cold night. When cooked in the crockpot, the beans and turkey become so soft that they melt in your mouth, so it’s easy on your braces and won’t cause too much discomfort or create problems with the brackets.


  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (seeds and membranes removed for less spicy)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 (15 oz can) white great northern, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz can) navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz can) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 (7 oz can)  chopped green chiles
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth


For serving (optional, if desired):

  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped green onions
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips


Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add ground turkey and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes. Add to crock pot.

Add remaining oil to sauté pan. Add in onions and jalapeno; sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add in garlic and sauté for an additional 1 – 2 minutes. Add cooked vegetables to crock pot.

To crock-pot, add herbs and spices, beans, pumpkin puree, green chilies and broth. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

Remove bay leaves and adjust seasonings to taste, if needed. Serve topped with chopped cilantro, green onions, sour cream and tortilla chips, if desired.

[via Kitchen Concoctions.]


Sloppy Joes

Braces wearers should never eat meat from a bone, so during treatment you’ll have to be creative to get your protein intake. Sloppy Joes are a great braces-friendly alternative to bone-in or hard to chew meats like chicken wings or steak. The beef is softened by the addition of the sauce and is less likely to get caught in the wires and brackets.


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey, 85% lean or greater
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar or Coconut Sugar
  • 1  (6 oz can) tomato paste
  • 6 oz water
  • 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
  • hamburger buns


In your Instant Pot using the sauté feature, add the garlic, ground beef, and optional red bell pepper.

Season with onion, garlic powder and black pepper.

Sauté until the meat is browned, then turn OFF the sauté function.

Add the brown sugar, tomato paste, water, and ketchup and give it a stir to combine.

Place the lid on the Instant Pot and seal the valve.

Set the timer for manual (high) for 4 minutes.

At the completion of the 4 minutes, use a quick release and serve on top of buns.

[Via: The Cents’able Shoppin.]


Pumpkin Pie Bites

The best part of dinner is definitely the dessert. While we recommend staying away from sweets that are hard, chewy and sticky, this miniature take on pumpkin pie is sure to be a hit among your family members. Need a homemade treat to create some Halloween thrills? Check. Need an easy to transport treat for Thanksgiving at Grandma’s? Right here. They are the perfect bite-size dessert for all of your fall get-togethers. Pumpkin is also great for your braces and oral health because it’s rich in Vitamin A and C, which keeps your teeth clean, protects them from decay and helps you to fight off oral infections.


Dough for 2 pie crusts homemade or store-bought

For the filling:

  • 2 (15 oz cans) pumpkin puree
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Whipped cream for topping
  • Caramel Pecan Topping optional, for topping


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray. (I’ve used both a 10×15’’ and an 11”x17” with success. The filling will be a little thicker in the smaller pan).

Roll pie crust dough to fit the size pan you use. You don’t need to add a crust around the edges, just make sure the bottom of the pan is evenly covered.

In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients together and mix until smooth.

Pour filling into the unbaked pie crust and bake in preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until it is set and only slightly jiggly in the very center. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

[Via: Tastes Better From Scratch.]


Turkey & Squash Casserole

This recipe is loaded with all sorts of braces-friendly foods: ground turkey, spinach and even butternut squash. These ingredients, when baked together, become soft and are easy on braces, which will protect your teeth, brackets, and wires. As always, follow every meal with a good brushing and flossing to remove any food particles.



  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons crushed or minced garlic
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound butternut squash, diced (can buy it pre-cut.)
  • 8 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 8 oz frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, (spelt or gluten-free flour are OK)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 8 x 11″ or 9 x 13″ pan with cooking spray, and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add squash, spinach, and potatoes.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and stir fry 3-5 minutes until translucent. Stir in garlic, then add turkey, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Stir and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it browns.

Sprinkle flour over the meat, and stir to coat. Stir in milk, and bring mixture to a simmer, stirring often. Sauce will thicken after a couple minutes of simmering.

Turn off heat, and stir in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Pour meat mixture into bowl with squash and potatoes. Stir well to combine.

Spread mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake 20 minutes longer, or until a knife can be easily inserted into squash pieces.

Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese over the casserole, and bake for 3-5 minutes longer. Serve warm.

[via: The Weary Chef.]


Halloween is almost here, with scary movies and scenery all around, but who says it has to be scary for your oral health?  We’ve got some spooky-sweet surprises for you to indulge. They are easy to make and best of all, they’re braces-friendly and orthodontist certified!


Candy Corn Milkshake

These bright and fun colors scream Halloween, with a nod to your favorite (or most hated) classic Halloween sweet. Milkshakes are easy to swallow and have a soothing effect on your braces, especially if they are new or freshly tightened. In fact, the AAO recommends milkshakes over other sugary treats.


  • 1 Quart Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 Quart Orange Sherbet
  • Whipped Cream (Homemade or Store bought)
  • Yellow Food Coloring
  • Sprinkles or Candy Corn to Garnish (If Desired)


Soften ice cream and sherbet for around 30 minutes. Add around ⅓ of the quart of ice cream to a bowl (a little more is fine!). Stir in yellow food coloring until combined.

Fill clear glasses around ⅓ of the way full with yellow ice cream. Return to freezer for 5-10 minutes or until set.

Once set, fill cup around ⅔ of the way full with orange sherbet. Return to freezer for 5-10 minutes or until set.

Fill cup nearly full using the plain vanilla ice cream. Top with whipped cream.

Garnish with sprinkles or candy corn if desired.

[via: Baking Beauty.]


Mummy Cake Pops

This is a great treat to bake for your spooktacular Halloween party and those special trick-or-treaters. These bite-sized treats are soft to nibble and your braces will thank you.



  • 2 (12 oz) packages of white chocolate chips
  • 1 box white cake mix (plus required ingredients)
  • ½ cup vanilla or cream cheese frosting
  • Black gel writing frosting
  • Paper straws or lollipop sticks


Prepare and bake cake as directed on box. Let cool completely.

Crumble cake into a large bowl. Add frosting and mix thoroughly. You may do this using your hands or an electric mixer.

Roll mixture into 1” balls. Place a paper straw or lollipop stick in the top of each cake ball. Chill in the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour (or freezer for 30 minutes).

Melt white chocolate chips as directed on packaging. Hold the cake ball by the stick and place into white chocolate. Use a fork to completely coat outside and help to lift it out of the chocolate. Hold the ball over the bowl by the stick, and dip the fork into white chocolate – drizzling back and forth in a crisscross pattern on the entire outside of the cake ball.

After the chocolate has hardened, use black gel writing frosting to draw on two eyes.

[via Thrift DIY Diva.]