Picture this: You’ve just got your day started. After your second cup of coffee, you sit down to feed your little one breakfast. This morning it’s his favorite. But for some reason, he’s refusing to eat. Instead, he’s kicking up a drooling storm and all he wants to do is be in your arms. Sounds to be like you might have a teething baby on your hands!
Teething is an absolute nightmare. Not only do you have to deal with upside-down sleep schedules, but you might also find your baby struggling with a rash or refusing to eat. The foods your baby once enjoyed before, might now seem like the worst thing in the world. In the mists of wanting to pull your hair out, it’s important to remember that picking the right food for your teething baby can also help soothe the pain, much like a pacifier or a teething toy.
Read along to find out the best foods for a teething baby, as well as foods to avoid!
Why Won’t My Baby Eat?
Teething can start from anywhere around four to six months and last all the way up to one year old. One symptom that connects to teething is the loss of appetite towards solid foods. The not-so-great thing about that is when your baby hits the six-month mark, that’s usually when they start weaning.
Think about it like this: when you’re feeling under the weather, you may go off your food too. Babies are no different. Teething causes the gums to swell and become sensitive to touch. So anything in your baby’s mouth can cause pain and upset.
What are the Best Foods for a Teething Baby?
If you’ve found your baby to be going on a food strike, take a look at the following foods. Keep in mind all babies are different and what works for one may not work for another. It’s all about trial and error, so don’t worry too much if your baby isn’t comfortable with a certain food type.
- Cold Foods
It’s no secret that putting something cold on your gums can help soothe the burning sensation. That’s why chilled foods are great for teething babies. The easiest thing to try would be yogurt, pop a pouch in the fridge or try some refrigerated fruit. Cold soup would also be a great option since it’s not much trouble and there’s no chewing involved. The cool temperature will provide a temporary numbness, while also providing your baby with some much-needed nourishment.
- Soft Foods
Just like us adults, babies might want nothing more than to snack on soups or pureed food. Depending on their age, you may have already begun introducing certain food types to them. If your baby loves potatoes, carrots, and meat, I’m sure they’ll appreciate you blending them up so it’s easier for them to manage. Anything they can slurp on such as yogurts or soft risotto could be great comfort food for your teething baby.
- Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls
Cold smoothies and smoothie bowls can help reduce the swelling on your baby’s gums. They’re also a great way to make sure your baby is getting all the nutrients they need. Smoothies are only recommended for babies over the age of 6 months. They’re quick and easy to whip up using ingredients straight from your fridge. Try adding some strawberries, peanut butter, or bananas.
Some important things to avoid:
- Citrus and honey
- Don’t add sugar
- Make sure the food is easy to digest
- Add a balanced amount of fat, carbohydrates, and protein
- Mashed Vegetables and Fruits
If your baby is a little older and over the pureed food, simply mashing up some fruits and veg can be great to help them avoid any extra pain. Mashed potatoes, baby carrots, green beans, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas are all good foods for a teething baby.
- Teething Biscuits
Teething biscuits are a great source of relief when it comes to sore gums. The fact that these biscuits don’t break or crumble means they’re also safe for your baby to chew on. They instead dissolve when your baby gums them. They’re definitely not an alternative to a meal, but they’re great to give your baby a quick relief. Since it’s just a biscuit, it also means it’s convenient for any time and any place.
- Hard Foods
It’s been proven that chewing on something solid is a great pain reliever for over half of the babies out there. This is due to the counterpressure on a rising tooth. Carrot sticks, breadsticks, sliced bell peppers, and bread crusts are all good foods to give a teething baby (over 6 months old!) Just always make sure you keep an eye on them to avoid any choking.
Foods to Avoid
- Frozen foods: While chilled food is a great source of pain relief, it’s good to avoid frozen foods. When it’s too cold, it can trigger the stinging sensation, even more, being counteractive to what you’re trying to do.
- Citrus foods: The acid within citrus food can cause a stinging sensation where the tooth has already started to grow.
- Spicy foods: While spicy food should be typically avoided anyway, when it comes to teething it is especially a no-go area. Giving your baby anything spicy will only aggravate the inflammation.
- Salty foods: Salt can cause the baby’s gums to swell and sting, furthermore adding to the pain and discomfort.
What we Learnt
Dealing with a teething baby can be stressful, for both you and the young one. When all hope is lost, just remember that teething doesn’t last forever! Try not to get too frustrated when your baby refuses to eat. Remember they are feeling exactly the same as you when you leave the dentist. Giving them something cool to chew on, or blending up their favorite meal will help more than you can imagine!