These yummy teething biscuits are made especially for babies aged 6-18 months, and are perfect for soothing baby’s gums and nourishing their growing bodies!
As a registered dietitian and mom of 3, I know just how hard it is to find nutritious and convenient baby foods that you can feel good about feeding your little ones. Don’t get me wrong… there are many biscuits, cookies, pouches, and other snack items out there, and it’s totally ok to buy and serve these sometimes. But most of these packages baby and toddler snacks lack nutrition and contain extra ingredients that baby doesn’t need. That’s why I love finding (and creating) easy, cost-effective baby snack recipes at home when I can.
These iron-rich teething biscuits were all of my babies’ faves. They’re naturally sweetened with ripe banana, and iron-rich because I substituted ½ of the flour for iron-fortified infant cereal. This is one of our feature baby-led weaning recipes in Food to Grow On – if you have little ones and haven’t ordered your copy yet, you must!
Why did I use infant cereal in teething biscuits?
Iron-fortified infant cereal used to be the staple “first food” that every mom fed their baby when starting solids. Some call it “pablum” and others just “baby cereal”. Traditionally, you would mix it with a bit of breastmilk, formula or water and serve it to baby with a spoon (and some parents still do this, which is great!). I recommend that parents buy a whole grain, nutrient-dense variety such as oat, barley or mixed grain. For this recipe, I thought it would be a good idea to use infant cereal to add texture and iron to a finger food: teething biscuits!
What is Baby-Led Weaning?
Now that we know how important it is to introduce baby to a variety of food textures right from 6 months, it’s less common to spoon feed purees, and more common to allow baby to self-feed with soft, safe finger foods. As long as you’re allowing baby to lead, whether by self-feeding or you spoon-feeding, both are ok. My suggestion is actually to introduce both methods (self-feeding with finger foods and spoon-feeding responsively) so that baby gets a nice variety of textures and experiences. If you choose to allow baby to self-feed exclusively, this is called “Baby-Led Weaning”. Check out my comprehensive guide on baby-led weaning.
The importance of iron for baby
Nutrition experts (and parents) worry about adequate iron intake if you choose baby-led weaning. Iron-rich foods such as red meat, fish, legumes, and eggs are important for babies over 6 months of age, as their iron stores have been depleted.
Babies who are fed using baby-led weaning may fall short of iron, which puts them at risk for iron deficiency anemia. It’s a bit more challenging to ensure baby receives enough of this nutrient when they’re exclusively self-feeding. Quite simply, they may not pick up and eat those strips of meat or pieces of scrambled egg. And you certainly don’t want to force it! That’s why I like to add iron-rich foods (like iron-fortified baby cereal, lentils, meat, poultry or fish to any finger food I can, and why I decided to substitute some of the flour out of this recipe and add in infant cereal.
Homemade iron-rich teething biscuits are super fun for babies because they’re delicious and can be made into fun shapes using cookie cutters! My go-to cookie cutter was a firetruck! Enlist the help of your older kids for a fun activity.