Why are teething biscuits such a popular snack for babies? They are cleverly designed to develop the skill of chewing. These small snacks resemble a cookie in shape and size, but usually are free of much sugar and spice. Ideally, they are made of simple grain ingredients and quite firm in texture. The firmness makes it difficult for baby to bite off a large piece, on which she could choke. Her jaw opens and closes as she gnaws away at the biscuit until her saliva softens it enough so a tiny piece breaks off, which she swallows easily. This action of opening and closing her jaw develops the skill of chewing. Once the tiny piece of biscuit is in inside her mouth, she will need to movie it around with her tongue to prepare it for the action of swallowing. This is the skill of chewing food: using the muscles of the jaw and mouth in a coordinated manner.
BABY EATING & THE FIVE SENSES
It is a new experience for baby to touch a piece of food, bring it to her own mouth, and experience the taste of it. Prior to introducing these finger foods she has been spoon and bottle fed. Baby is now seeing the food, touching the texture with her hands, smelling with her nose, hearing the crunch of her bite, and tasting the flavor. This is both a new coordination and sensual experience for her.
BABY EATING HABITS
As we have learned, the flavor preferences later in life which can influence health and well-being are being traced back to foods given in infancy. Thus, it is important to try and develop healthy eating habits in the first year of life. Learn to read the labels and choose organic teething biscuits when possible. Look for ones made without added sugar and salt. For babies with wheat allergies one can find arrowroot teething biscuits. Some ambitious mothers even make their own from scratch with teething biscuit recipes found on the internet. It is a good idea to check with your pediatrician before using an internet recipee. Remember, our options today are many. Choose wisely.