Teething is one phase that spares no parent. Every child has a different teething experience and this makes it quite challenging for parents. There are a few general guidelines and remedies to follow and help your baby through the process of teething. But each of these comes with exceptions to the case. It is best to try a few natural remedies for teething alongside teething foods to help your child get through this phase.
What are the teething stages?
Babies are usually born with 20 baby (primary) teeth, which start to come in (erupt) at about 6 months of age. The American Dental Association (ADA) has downloadable teeth eruption charts for parents to refer to. Again, these are just rough estimates of timelines as each child is different and some babies may not erupt their first tooth until after their first birthday.
How to tell if baby is teething? [Signs of teething]
- Swollen gums
- Trouble with sleeping
- Trying to bite, chew, suck on everything
- Flushed cheeks
- Drop in appetite
- Scratching and grabbing at the ears
Your teething baby may experience all or a few of these teething symptoms.
What to feed teething baby?
Teething Foods that soothe the gums
Cold teething foods usually help soothe the swelling in the gums. And combining cold foods with foods that offer some sort of pressure on the gums can work in a dual-action manner to relieve some of the child’s pain and irritability. It is important to note here that when we say cold we don’t mean frozen. Even when offering frozen food wait for a while for the temp to come down and offer the food to baby slightly chilled.
For babies below 6 months of age, it is best to breastfeed more often as the sucking action helps soothe the baby.
If you are wondering what to feed a teething baby with no appetite, well, here are examples of teething foods that can be offered to soothe the gums after 6 months of age;
Teething foods for babies 6 months to a year.
Cold foods for teething babies
- Chilled fruit in a food mesh type feeder: When babies are not yet very adept at eating and start teething, offer chilled fruit in a food mesh styled feeder and allow the baby to suck on it.
- Milksicles: Make a small milk popsicle out of pumped breast milk. The flavor is familiar and easily acceptable.
- Cold fruit and veg: Chilled fruit is a great option. Many people recommend raw carrot sticks, but I personally found carrots to be a choking hazard, especially for very young babies, and always steered clear from them. Consider offering chilled watermelon, cucumbers, berries (cut appropriately for baby, refer to my article talking about how to offer round fruit to baby led weaning babies), apples, mango, chikoo, or kiwi.
- Nice cream: An awesome way to serve chilled fruits to the baby in ice cream form without any nasty ingredients is making homemade nice cream. Baby teething food recipes: To make blueberry banana nice cream you need – two frozen bananas, a handful of blueberries, that’s it! Blitz in a mixy and a yummy frozen dessert is ready for your little one. These are perfect breakfast and snack options for teething babies. You can add almond flakes or raw cacao nibs as toppings to make it extra fun for toddlers.
- Smoothies and smoothie bowls: These are quick to whip up using ingredients from your fridge. Some of our favorite smoothie flavors are strawberry peanut butter smoothies, chocolate peanut butter smoothies, banana, and date smoothies.
With just a few ingredients, you can also assemble a smoothie bowl. My son enjoys the process of making a smoothie bowl. We make an activity out of it, he helps me put ingredients in the mixy and garnish the bowl with his favorite toppings.
Baby teething food recipes: strawberry and banana smoothie bowl – Blend 4 strawberries, 1 large banana, and 100 ml soy milk. Pour into a bowl and add toppings of your choice, for example desiccated coconut, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.
For an avocado smoothie bowl – Blend 1 Avocado, ½ cup fresh tender coconut, a splash of coconut water, and garnish with toppings like chia seeds and desiccated coconut.
- Popsicles: Every child’s favorite. Put some fruit in a blender and go crazy with the combinations. Some yummy combinations to try are mango and coconut, chocolate peanut butter, berries, and yogurt.
Baby teething food recipes: mango and coconut milk popsicles – Add 1 chilled mango, 200 ml coconut milk, and a few springs of mint. Blend. Add the mixture to popsicle molds and freeze for a few hours. You can add a tablespoon of maple syrup to make it sweeter or go without it. Here is another mango yogurt popsicle recipe that you can also try.
- Yogurt bark: Yogurt-loving babies and toddlers will love this teething food. It’s cold, and hard, and can be made in your child’s favorite fruit flavors. Our favorite frozen yogurt bark recipes are strawberry yogurt bark, plain yogurt bark with nut butter, and mango yogurt bark. For babies, you can skip the honey and use crushed nut powder as toppings instead of chopped nuts.
For more recipes of yummy and nutritious smoothies, smoothie bowls, and popsicles you must check The Easy Toddler Snack Book. These are recipes my son loves and enjoys and at the same time helped me through his teething phase and low-appetite phase.Buy Here.
Non-cold foods for babies
There are a few non-cold teething foods that can also help relieve inflammation of the gums. Solid food for teething baby.
- Natural teething biscuits: I personally didn’t make any kind of teething biscuits for my son. We didn’t feel the need for it. But I understand that some babies may have a lot of pain with teething and in such cases, you try every trick in town. I recommend not buying biscuits from the market for babies under 1 as most biscuits come with some amount of added sugar and other additives that are avoidable. It’s best to make some natural teething biscuits at home. Try this recipe for homemade teething biscuits that are completely natural and healthy for the baby. For toddlers, I like these natural teething sticks by Early Foods. They are made using whole wheat flour and do not contain soda, preservatives, or other chemical additives. Use code EASYMOMMYLIFE10 for 10% off on your order on the Early Foods website.
- Rice crackers: To the rice crackers add a tablespoon of nut butter, or a little bit of homemade guacamole, or offer it plain. These are amazing when teething. Look for low-salt options and once again use sparingly.
- Bread: Make some homemade bread or look for a good quality bread made with organic ingredients, low on sugar, and preferably minus all the chemical additives. Little ones are best kept away from processed foods like bread, but when all else fails this is another food you can try to help with teething.
- Dosas: This Indian pancake has a crispy texture that relieves some teething pain. The plain taste of dosa is an added bonus when children can’t tolerate other spicy foods. A great option of Indian food for a teething baby.
- Roasted or sautéed vegetables: Sautee or roast veggies like baby corn, bell peppers, broccoli, zucchini, and potatoes. These look like a rainbow of colors on the plate which makes them appealing to the eye. And they help apply pressure on the gums when chewing. A great option as finger food for a teething baby in my opinion. Get my quick and easy recipe for roasted broccoli here.
The toddler phase of teething aka cutting molars is usually followed by a drop in appetite since chewing is particularly painful. As mothers, we need to come up with creative ways to make foods acceptable and maintain nutrient intake. Preparing softer foods that are easy on the gums is one solution to the problem.
Examples of foods for teething toddlers
- Scrambled eggs: These are easy on the gums and are bland in taste. Scrambled eggs always win when nothing else works.
- Dal khichdi: A simple dal khichdi can be elevated by adding a few finely chopped vegetables. The plate looks colorful and the soft texture helps with swallowing.
- Curd rice: Make the plain old curd rice look yummier by decorating with pomegranate seeds. Making food appealing in colors especially when the kids aren’t feeling too well helps them get excited about eating.
- Soups: One traditional sick day food that you can bank on. Try potato soup, pumpkin soup, broccoli soup, spinach and lentil soup. Each of these combinations packs in on the nutrients so you are assured your child is getting what he needs.
- Pancakes: Soft pancakes sweetened with bananas work wonders on those swollen gums and are readily accepted. Check the recipe for oats pancake in my post on baby led weaning breakfast ideas. Another family favorite is the wheat and ragi pancake I featured in my post on getting toddlers to eat healthily.
- Patties: All types of patties work during teething. You can combine vegetables and potatoes or mincemeat and potatoes, whatever way you like. Keep the ratio of potatoes on the higher side to make soft patties. Generally, this soft patty goes down well during teething. Keep the spice level low so as not to irritate the swollen gums, using only turmeric and coriander powder. Check these patties recipes for reference – chicken patties, broccoli patties, and chickpea patties.
- Porridge: Make thick oats or sprouted wheat porridge on days you feel your child needs some extra nutrition. Add a teaspoon of nut butter, seeds like chia and hemp, and fruit to make it a yummy meal for the toddler. Somedays you can even have porridge as a meal when the toddler can’t swallow other solids. Check oats recipes for babies and toddlers here.
- Pasta and noodles: Another food that won’t be rejected even during the teething phase. Make the pasta dish calorie dense by cooking in a coconut-based gravy or making a smooth pesto sauce from almonds.
- Avocados: When all fails plain avocados do the trick. Avocados are soft and easy on the gums filled with healthy fats. For older toddlers add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt to flavor the avocados.
Related reading: Toddler meal ideas and recipes.
FAQS about teething
Do babies stop eating while teething?
You may see an appetite drop when your baby is teething. This is because the child is feeling uncomfortable swelling and pain when eating. Rest assured this change in appetite is for a short period of time and once teething is over your baby will be back to eating.
How can I get my teething baby to eat?
Once you have accepted that there will be an appetite drop during teething you can prepare for it. In order for a teething baby to feel comfortable chewing offer cold foods and hard foods mentioned in this post.
Make foods calorie dense by adding healthy fats for example, extra ghee on chapati, avocado toast and nut powder/nut butter in porridge and sandwiches.
Stay calm during this period as your child absorbs your attitude around food and feeding and learns how to approach food from you. Anxious over reactive parental behavior around feeding complicates the situation and encourages more picky eating behaviors.
What foods should you avoid when teething?
As such if your child doesnt have a problem with any food there is no need to avoid foods. But, many children have trouble eating spicky foods and salty foods when they are teething as these irritate the gums.
I hope you find these ideas of foods for teething baby useful. It was a lot of trial and error until I found the perfect kinds of foods to offer my son every time he went through teething. Some of these may not work for your child or you may strike gold with a few of these. But hopefully, you get some great ideas to help you navigate through the tricky teething phase.
Check The Easy Toddler Snack Book for more toddler recipes and ideas.
In my next post, I will write about some natural remedies for teething. A combination of good home remedies and home-cooked teething foods can help you tide through this phase with confidence. Until next time, Ciao!