Teething can be no fun for your little one. And it can be pretty tough for you, too. To help ease the ache – and soothe your sanity – we’ve narrowed down the best teething foods.
But when teething starts interfering with your little one’s appetite, it can get a bit worrying for mamas.
The last thing you want is for them to be going hungry when they’re in pain.
Luckily there are lots of baby teething food ideas and other ways you can help make your peanut more comfortable.
Note: If your little one seems to be really struggling with their teething pain or discomfort, or are having strange symptoms that may or may not be teething-related, it can help to get some advice from your doctor.
In this article: 📝
- When can babies have teething foods?
- Do babies eat less when teething?
- What can you give a teething baby that won’t eat?
- What food is good for teething?
- What foods should you avoid when teething?
- What can I feed my teething toddler?
- What to offer a young teething baby
When can babies have teething foods?
If your little one is at least four to six months old and has started solids, you can offer them age-appropriate teething foods like plain full-fat yoghurt or mashed fruit.
Of course, we don’t need to remind you to supervise your babe while they’re eating.
If your teething baby is less than four months old or hasn’t started solids yet, we have some other great ideas for what to offer a young teething baby below.
Do babies eat less when teething?
Yes, some might want to eat less, or the types of things they want to eat might change.
Some babies might prefer soft foods while they’re teething, to avoid irritating their gums.
Others may want something hard to chew on, as the pressure on their gums can cause some relief.
And sometimes your little one’s gums can become so sore that eating is just too painful, or they just really dislike the feeling of eating while teething.
It can be upsetting to see your baby struggle and not be able to enjoy even their favorite foods.
Don’t worry, it’ll pass!
What can you give a teething baby that won’t eat?
So what can you do?
Keep offering breastmilk or formula if your child is still drinking milk, as they will often be able to tolerate milk even if they can’t tolerate solids right now.
They may do more comfort nursing or bottle-feeding while teething, too.
If you have an older child who isn’t still having milk feeds, try as many of the teething foods ideas we have below, and consider pain relief options to help them tolerate a meal.
If you are concerned that their teething pain is continuing for too long and their food aversions are causing them to lose weight, speak to your doctor.
What food is good for teething?
Teething foods for babies under one year of age can be as simple or as complex as you like.
What’s important to remember is that we don’t want to offer anything that may pose a choking risk.
That includes gnawing on raw carrots, which can break off and be a choking risk to baby.
Some great teething foods include:
The best teething foods are softer options that cause less discomfort when gums are feeling sore, especially while the tooth is erupting. Try:
- Scrambled eggs
- Baby muffins or pancakes 🥞
- Mashed fruits or veggies (ideal if your little one is on a puree diet anyway). If they don’t want to eat much, try nutrient dense options, like pumpkin, banana, or avocado 🥑
- Soup 🥣
We all know how good a cold compress can feel on your forehead if you have a headache, or the trusty bag of frozen peas on a sore knee or ankle.
Teething foods that are straight from the fridge or freezer can have the same kind of natural pain-relieving effect. Try:
- Momsicles: Pour expressed breastmilk or formula into your ice cube tray. Once frozen, pop a cube or two into one of those handy silicone baby feeders for them to chew and suck.
- Frozen fruit: Cubes of banana, or frozen berries, or tropical fruits can be put into a silicone baby feeder too, or blended to be spoon-fed.
- Cold fruit and vegetables: Watermelon, apple slices, mango, avocado mash, or baby-sized cucumber sticks straight from the fridge can be nice and refreshing.
- Yogurt or cottage cheese: No explanation needed.
- Frozen purees: Freeze purees in little drops on parchment paper (so it doesn’t stick) for a sweet teething treat.
What foods should you avoid when teething?
You’ll want to avoid most hard foods, such as raw carrots.
This is because they can break off in baby’s mouth and pose a choking risk.
One exception is a type of biscuit or cracker commonly called teething biscuits.
They are specifically designed to be hard to chew, but will disintegrate into soft pieces and dissolve in baby’s mouth, so there’s no risk of choking.
If you don’t want to use a store-bought biscuit that may be higher in sugar or additives, you can use a simple recipe:
- Mix 2 cups oat flour, 1 mashed ripe banana, and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- Mold the dough into finger shapes and place on a baking sheet
- Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes on both sides, or until hard but not burnt
- Let cool fully before offering
Alternatively, a mango pit can feel good on their gums but is way too hard to break any off.
What can I feed my teething toddler?
If you’ve got a teething toddler on your hands, we feel for you, mama.
The usual toddler tantrums can quickly escalate when they’re in pain.
Offering them interesting teething foods can help keep them happy and satisfied.
You can offer any of the options above, but now that they’re older, they might like some of these ideas too:
- Smoothies full of frozen or fridge-cold fruits and veggies.
- Fruit slushie bowls (frozen fruit quickly blended into a slushy texture).
- Popsicles — could be their fave smoothie flavor frozen into a fun popsicle shape.
- Rice crackers for a tasty crunch, either plain or topped with mashed avocado or nut butter.
- Corn on the cob is great if they’re wanting something to bite.
What to offer a young teething baby
Your baby’s first tooth will commonly erupt between six and 12 months of age, but some babies can suffer from teething pain and cut their first teeth before this time.
If your baby is teething, but not yet on solids, you may be wondering how you can help ease their pain.
These are some great non-food options, that can even work wonders on older teething babies too:
- Momsicles are a great option here, too, and don’t stray from your baby’s milk-only diet.
- Soft teething toys can be placed in the fridge (not freezer) and can help cool down angry gums.
- Wet a washcloth or small muslin and wring it out, roll it up, and pop it in the freezer. Take it out five to 10 mins before giving it to baby to avoid freezer burn. They’ll probably love sucking or chewing on the cooling fabric.
And as ever, mama, remember that this too shall pass.
Teething can be a long, drawn-out process, or they could cut their full 20 primary teeth within a single year.
If you’re looking for reassurance, your Peanut community is here to help. You’ve got this!