What to Feed a Teething Baby Who Refuses to Eat: 5 Best Teething Foods

The growth and development of your child can cause dips and changes to their appetite. They can be very unpredictable, from being fussy and not wanting to eat (even their favorite foods) one day to eating non-stop the next!

When your child goes through the uncomfortable teething phase, they may find eating extra difficult. So, we’ve put together this guide full of the best foods to give your teething baby and some mealtime tips and tricks to help make life easier. 

Mom feeding baby

Do babies eat less when teething?

Yes, some babies might eat less or turn away from food more if they find it too uncomfortable or painful to eat - especially anything tough to chew. When their gums are sensitive, it’s understandable why they don’t want to try and press them into food or have hard utensils in their mouths. Instead, they might turn to teething toys to relieve and soothe their sore gums.

As long as your baby is still drinking fluids normally, a decreased appetite shouldn’t be anything to worry about. Just keep offering them food at mealtimes and snacks in between. When the pain has lessened, they’ll start eating more again. 

The best foods for a teething baby

If your child is still breastfeeding or drinking formula, keep offering them milk, as they’ll likely be able to tolerate it better than solid food. For older children who no longer have milk feeds, the following foods are best for a teething baby:        

Soft food

Giving your child soft food will cause less discomfort when their gums are sore and will be easier to manage. Some foods they can happily slurp on without needing to chew as much include:

  • Soup
  • Pureed food
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt         

Cold food

There’s a reason why our cooling teethers are so popular: they can help to soothe the burning sensation of a tooth erupting. Chilled food works similarly and can temporarily numb the pain while giving them something nutritious to eat. Some cold fruit, yogurt, or purees are all great options. You can also try making your own popsicle recipes to give them something to suck on.       


Cold smoothies not only help reduce swelling and soothe gums, but they can also be packed with nutrients and super tasty. However, they are only recommended for children over six months old. Try creating smoothies with peanut butter, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, milk or yogurt, and some whole grains. If you feel up forlike a challenge, see if you can squeeze some veggies in there, too.     

Teething biscuits

Teething biscuits are made for babies to chew on to help relieve their discomfort. This means that they dissolve in your child’s mouth instead of breaking or crumbling, so they’re safe to chew and suck. While they can’t replace a meal, they’re perfect for a quick snack either at home or when you’re out and about.       

Hard food

For some babies, chewing on something solid can be a great reliever as it acts as a counter pressure. Try giving them carrot sticks, bell pepper slices, breadsticks, or cucumber. Just make sure you supervise them at all times with these foods to prevent choking hazards. 

Baby eating by herself

Mealtime tricks while teething

If your child is refusing to eat anything at all, here are some tips and tricks you can try to encourage them with:        

Puree food

Even if your baby has moved past the pureed food stage and has been eating more solids, it may be worth going back to pureed food while they’re teething. This way, you can ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need while providing food soft enough to eat. Our Mighty Blender Set makes chopping and pureeing homemade food yourself easy.    

Give pain relief

If your child is really struggling to eat or handle the pain, giving them the appropriate pain relief could help them. However, we’d always advise consulting a doctor or pharmacist before giving them any medication. It’s also important to remember that numbing gels directly applied to gums is never recommended, though soothing gel may be a good alternative.    

Numb your baby’s mouth first

Before giving your little one something to eat, let them chew on a cooling teether first to help numb and soothe their gums. This may make it easier for them to eat once the pain has been reduced.

Mom feeding baby on the floor

Foods to avoid when teething

There are also some types of food you should avoid while your baby is teething, which can make the pain worse for them. These include:

  • Spicy foods: Giving your baby spicy food will irritate their mouths and gums further.
  • Frozen foods: While chilled food is perfectly suitable, frozen food should be avoided as it can trigger a stinging sensation.
  • Citrus foods: Citrusy foods, such as oranges or lemons, contain acid, which may also sting your child’s mouth while teething.
  • Salty foods: Giving your child salty food can cause their gums to swell and sting, adding to their discomfort.

How long will the teething fussiness last?

Although it may seem like the teething phase is never-ending, it doesn’t last forever, we promise! Once their tooth has emerged, they will feel more like themselves again. Of course, they have a lot of teeth to grow, so the teething phase will come and go but should only last for approximately a week at a time. 

By the time your child is three years old, they should have all of their baby teeth. But remember, every child is different, and some may have their teeth earlier or later. The best things you can do for your child isare to be patient and understanding, give them extra cuddles and comfort while they’re teething, keep up their fluids, and try different foods in different ways.

Take a look at our wide collection of teething toys, which offer a safe and clean surface for your child to chew on.