Food teethers also know as hard munchables can benefit babies who are starting to wean, babies moving from spoon-feeding to finger food, as well as for babies with sensitive gag reflexes and developmental delays. This is because they help to advance oral motor skills. Just like our quodapus and teether spoons.
Use food teethers for a:
- Baby getting ready to start solids
- Baby who isn’t progressing with independent eating or formed solids
- As a compliment to purées and/or solid food pieces BLW style
The best food teethers for baby, click on the links to view the full recipe detail.
Pineapple Core - remove the flash from the pineapple and offer the core in both hands. It might be slippy it acts just like a teether and helps soothes your baby’s gums.
Mango pit - remove the flash until you are left with the pit. If any flesh remains make sure the mango is nice and ripe so that if any flesh comes off its nice a soft for baby.
Corn on the cob - with the corn removed or with the corn for an older baby.
Chicken or rib bone with meat and cartilage removed.
Reminder: always supervise baby 100% of the time with these. If baby does break a piece off, the gag reflex should push it forward, but you need to be there just in case. Be sure to remove if baby is starting to break pieces off.
Food Teethers Benefits by Catriona Fahey Pediatric Ocupational Therapist
- Help baby form a mental map of the mouth. - when baby gets deep pressure sensation to their gums and tongue, this gives the brain feedback about the mouth. They become safer eaters when they have good oral sensory awareness to manage challenging foods to keep the food on the molars while chewing and to know that the chewed food has been broken down enough to safely swollow.
- Trigger the tongue movements needed for learning how to chew. - a food teether will trigger the tongue to move from side to side. Which is what is required when learning to chew to take the piece of food to the molar for biting.
- Strengthen jaw muscles - if repeated this will build the jaw muscle for chewing.
- Decrease overly sensitive gag reflexes. - if your baby has over sensitive gag reflex then this will aid in helping decrease that sensitivity.
- Can’t be stuffed into the mouth all at once. - mango pit and corn on the cob cannot be stuffed into the mouth and help baby slow down eating in a natural way.
- Easy for baby to pick up - the size of the food teether helps baby pick up the food easily.