Knowing what to feed your child can be a daily struggle. Wondering whether they’re getting enough to nourish and satisfy them is a worry shared by all parents.
When you have a teething toddler, there’s extra worry. Your little one’s in pain, making them refuse most food. You want to make sure they’re not hungry but you don’t want to upset them any more.
Here are a few suggestions to try and make this milestone a little easier on you and your babe.
What Can You Feed Them?
What do you want to eat when you have a toothache? Soft foods that are easy to chew, right? The same goes for your toddler.
- Cauliflower and broccoli cheese is a great meal. It’s packed with veggies (add carrots or peas to get extra nutrients in them) and you can cover them with a delicious cheesy sauce. The vegetables will steam in the oven and the sauce will make them a little softer too.
- Mashed potato is another good meal, although can be a little bland for your toddler. My mum used to feed me mashed potato when I was teething, mixed with soft cheese and chives – it’s still one of my favourite meals now!
- For a dessert, mix yoghurt with a fruit compote (boil up some fruit such as strawberries or raspberries with a little maple syrup and allow to cool).
- Another idea is to freeze a banana and then blend it to make banana ‘nice cream’. Ice cold and ideal for numbing sore gums. You can add any other fruit to this (frozen or not) to make up your own flavours.
- Smoothies are another way to get nutrients into them. My boys have smoothies regularly and my three year old loves helping to chop up the fruit to go in the blender. You can also add things like spinach or maybe some beetroot too for extra goodness. They’ve been such a lifesaver when teething has a hold of my two and they won’t eat anything else.
Avoid Acidic Foods
Teething can cause tearing and bleeding which makes little mouths super sensitive to anything acidic or salty. Any citrus fruits such as oranges should be avoided. Tomato sauce can also be quite acidic. Remember not to put salt into any cooking you do for your toddler.
Don’t Force It
They’re already pretty miserable with the pain of teething, and frustrated at not being able to communicate that to you. Trying to force your child to eat may just upset them more.
Try to make small adjustments to mealtimes so they feel more comfortable.
Just as you would do with fussy eaters who refuse their food when it’s dinner time, don’t get mad. Just take it away and offer it a bit later when they seem happier. I know that when I’m in pain, especially with a toothache, the last thing I want to do is eat.
Mix It Up!
Mealtimes might have to go out the window while they’re teething. They could have a flare up right when it’s their breakfast time and not want to eat. That’s no big deal, try again an hour later. Offering little and often is a good temporary solution while they’re going through this.
Luckily, like every childhood stage, teething will soon pass. Before you know it your toddler will have a full set of gnashers, ready to eat you out of house and home!