The pain and discomfort associated with cutting teeth can make your baby cranky and reluctant to eat. Some babies want to exclusively nurse while others gnaw on anything that offers counter pressure relief. If your little one is teething, here are a few natural recipes — for babies six months and older — to make the transition more bearable.
Chilled Cucumber Rings
Offer your baby a plain, fresh cucumber and she’ll likely turn her head. Slice it, dip it in a natural purée, freeze it and offer it to her again. If she’s teething, her reaction might be different.
To prepare this teething snack, I used three medium-sized cucumbers and half of three different flavored jars of Beech-Nut purée. Fruit, vegetable and berry combination purées work well with cucumbers, but my daughter also liked them dipped in Beech-Nut’s Organic mango, chicken, curry & rice purée. After pouring the purées into individual, wide-mouth bowls, I used a fork to fully submerge the cucumbers one by one into the bowls. Then, I laid them flat on a plate covered in parchment paper and froze them for three hours.
Before feeding your baby this frozen treat (or any other), make sure to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes so it doesn’t stick to your baby’s tongue.
Frozen Bananas + Dipping Sauces
Because of their smooth texture and bland flavor, bananas are often one of the first solid foods parents introduce to their babies. It helps that they are full of potassium, magnesium and pectin, a fiber that’s great for digestion. The benefits don’t stop there. When they are nearly frozen, bananas are one of the best (and easiest) ways to soothe aching gums.
Bananas only need three to four hours in the freezer before they’re cool enough to offer relief to little sore gums and they aren’t too hard to gnaw on. My daughter loves them plain, or when dipped in a homemade sauce. Try these:
- Apple Peanut Butter
Hand mix one tablespoon of creamy peanut butter, one tablespoon of breast milk and a half jar of Beech-Nut Naturals just apple & red bean purée. The dip will be thick. Add more or less breast milk depending on desired consistency. Feeding peanut butter to a baby over six months is safe, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Though if you suspect allergies, avoid this recipe.
- Chunky Berry and Bean Dip
In a small bowl, mash a small handful of blackberries and blueberries with a fork. Mix in two tablespoons of Beech-Nut Naturals just apple, berry & black bean purée and one tablespoon of plain yogurt. Whip the dip to be a chunky sauce. Yogurt — made from cow’s milk — should only be given to babies 12 months and older, according to HealthyChildren.org.
Homemade teething biscuits generally store well if they’re frozen or in airtight, room temperature containers. This makes them a great gum-soothing snack whether you’re at home or on the go. Here are a couple recipes to get you started:
Apple Cinnamon Granola Teething Biscuits
In addition to being healthy and hearty, these biscuits have a nice crunch. My daughter likes them cut into thin strips so she can easily hold and bite them without them crumbling into pieces. You also may consider adding one tablespoon each of soy flour and wheat germ for extra nutritional value.
- 1 beaten egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons Beech-Nut Naturals apple, cinnamon & granola purée
- 1½ teaspoons cooking oil
- ¼ cup breast milk
- 1 tablespoons uncooked oatmeal (Beech-Nut’s single grain oatmeal works well)
- 1 cup flour (white, wheat or combo)
- Blend wet ingredients before adding dry ingredients.
- The dough will be stiff. Roll it out thin on a floured surface and cut into strips or desired shapes.
- Bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 15 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Cool completely before serving.
Sweet and Savory Teething Biscuit Sandwiches
With only four ingredients, these biscuits are made for a baby whose teeth are hurting and palate is changing. It’s one of my favorites because it can be easily modified to fit my daughter’s mood (and what I have on hand).
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup dry infant multi-grain cereal (Such as Beech-Nut’s multigrain baby cereal)
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- ice water
- Mix flour and cereal.
- Gradually stir in oil and then slowly pour in ice water until the dough begins to form a ball and pull away from the bowl.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is thin. Then cut into desired shapes or strips.
- Bake at 425° Fahrenheit on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown.
- Once the biscuits are cool, spread a sweet or savory purée, like Beech-Nut Naturals sweet potato, orange & pineapple or Beech-Nut Naturals beets, pear & pomegranate, on one biscuit and top it with another biscuit.
You and your child will get through the teething stage. Be patient and equip yourself with snacks to please.