Teething almost always affects mealtime in some way. A sudden change of eating patterns usually means something’s up – and teeth are a very likely culprit (even before you can see them poking through the gums).
When it comes to teething and mealtime, here’s some things to keep in mind:
- Expect regression – a mouth in pain is less motivated to eat.
- Don’t be surprised if your baby or toddler wants only milk – hydration is #1. Babies need at least 20-24 ounces of breast milk or formula, and toddlers or older kids need even more fluid! Watch for signs of dehydation like dry lips, decreased tears or less diaper/urine output.
- Stay consistent with mealtimes and snacks, offering some cold and soft foods for pain relief.
Food ideas to help with the pain:
- Homemade breast milk or formula popsicles
- Homemade fruit, veggie, and yogurt popsicles
- Smoothies and smoothie bowls
- Cook your favorite veggies and then pop in freezer until slightly frozen
- Freeze spoons and load with soft foods like yogurt, guac, or oatmeal
- Offer slightly frozen bagels and teething biscuits
Remember, stay consistent with regular food at regular mealtime – you never know when they’ll pick it back up again, and we don’t want their eating to digress in the long-run!