Sometimes, alternatives to the usual teething biscuits or crackers are perfect for soothing sore gums and encouraging new chompers to break through. Baked goods that are soft but not crumbly are ideal; waffles fit the bill because of their soft, chewy yet firm texture – their ridges and divots make them easy for little hands to grasp, and their round, thick shape means no pointy edges.
Once cooked in your waffle iron, you can lay them out on a cookie sheet and bake at 250˚F for 30 minutes or so to crisp them up and dry them out, if you like. If they’re still soft, you can freeze them and serve straight from the freezer (thaw slightly so that little fingers don’t freeze), or thaw completely before serving. If you package them individually in zip-lock baggies, they’re great for tossing into a diaper bag straight from the freezer.
Cinnamon Rice Teething Waffles
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup cooked brown rice or barley, cooled
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
1 1/4 cups milk or water
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add the rice, eggs, oil and milk and stir just until blended.
Preheat your waffle iron, spray it with nonstick spray and cook the batter a ladle full at a time, spread over the griddle (it will be thicker than typical waffle batter), until firm and pale golden. (Since they don’t contain sugar, they won’t turn as dark golden as traditional waffles.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool and break into quarters or cut into strips.
Makes about 20 wedges. Store in a tightly covered container or freeze.