When do babies start teething? Teething can start at any point in a baby’s life. Yes, even when they’re newborn. The younger they are when they are teething, the more uncomfortable they seem to be. Yet, toddlers also have a tough time of it when they’re teething. There are some interesting teething foods you can try that you may be unfamiliar with.
Your toddler may be so uncomfortable that they are not able to eat the foods that they’re used to. Baby teething remedies abound but they do not always work fast and they’re not always effective. You need to be sure your baby or toddler is getting the nutrition they need despite any pain they may be in. Here are teething foods to try for your toddler when they’re too uncomfortable to have the foods they’re used to. These are extra special because they originate from West Africa.
Five Yummy teething foods for toddlers that you may not have tried before
These teething foods are a mixture of options I know of from back home (Ghana) and others that I’ve met along the way.
1. Ripe Plantain
Ripe plantains are soft and sweet. They’re also quick and easy to cut up and boil. You can serve a single finger of boiled plantain on its own or with a stew or soup.
You can also choose to fry it. That’s a different taste altogether that your toddler might prefer. Fried ripe plantain makes for a good baby teething snack too as you can cut it up into slightly smaller bits before frying. You toddler can munch on it like they would any crisps or french fries. If your toddler loves it, they’ll likely love spicy mashed fried plantain too. See a recipe for it here.
The variety of ways in which you can use plantain makes it one of my favourite toddler teething foods.
2. Mashed yam
This is an alternative to easy mashed sweet potatoes or potatoes. Cut the yam into small chunks. Put in a deep saucepan and cover with water. Put in a pinch or two of salt. Depending on the type of yam you get, you’ll need to boil it for up to 20 minutes or until sticking a fork lightly into a piece breaks it up easily. Drain the water and mash easily. You may add a tiny amount of butter to make it more creamy but it’s really not necessary. Serve as you would mashed sweet potatoes – on its own or with some veggies. I mix it with any kind of stew.
It’s not as creamy as mashed sweet potatoes would be. It’s a little more flaky and that texture may feel pleasant on teething gums which is why it makes a good teething food.
3. Bean pudding
You’ll need honey beans or black eye beans for this one. For an easier recipe, you can also use beans flour. It apparently originates from Western Nigeria and would seem like an obvious baby teether food due to its texture. It takes a couple of hours in total to make so it’s not exactly a quick food. It certainly is a yummy one though! It’s referred to as “moin moin” in Nigeria and the Ghanaian version is called “alele” or “olele”. Here and here are great, easy-to-follow recipes for it on YouTube. It’s also available as a mix in stores.
4. Rice balls
Also called “omo tuo”, it’s a good, quick recipe that your toddler will love if they like rice anyway. You boil your rice as normal but add twice the quantity of water that you normally would. Once it’s gone very soft and mashable, you can either mash it with a fork or a wooden spoon. Scoop a ladle-full of it into cling film or saran wrap and mould it into a ball. This video is a simple guide to follow. It also goes well with any soup or stew.
5. Cornflour and cassava dough balls
Yet another excellent accompaniment for almost any soup or stew. It’s made of a mixture of corn dough and cassava dough. Also available as a “just add water” mix in stores, this yummy dish requires some elbow grease to prepare. It’s called “banku” and just like the rice balls above, your effort is worth it. Your toddler will enjoy the distinctive taste and super soft texture. Find a quick recipe here.
Have you tried these foods for your teething toddler before?
These five toddler-friendly teething foods are of course more common to West Africa. Specifically Ghana and Nigeria. The world being the global village that it is, you may have encountered one of them before.
Whether you’re from West Africa or not, have you tried any of these for your teething toddler before? Do they sound like something your toddler would like to try?