I am not a mom who has her shit together on homemaking baby-skills like many moms seem to. It’s not that I’m bad at creating things. I used to be pretty awesome. You wanted something yummy and homemade, I was your girl. You wanted a creatively retiled kitchen–I’m right there. A lefty-friendly computer desk? Sure.
But now, well, now I just don’t have time, energy, or interest because I’m running madly just to stay in place most days.
So, when I decided to try to make my own teething cookies because the Gerber ones were just too banana-y, I found myself wandering down virtual pathways that took me further and further into the strange world of parents who Have Their Shit Together and who have the energy/ability to Care Deeply About Issues like non-GMO foods, veganism, feeding organics, and cooking with love. I couldn’t even use having twins as an excuse, since there was even a site by a mom of multiples that glowed with shit-togetheredness.
Don’t get me wrong. I care about feeding my kids healthy food. In fact, they have yet to eat baby food from a jar thanks to a blender, cheapskate parents, and their GI specialist’s absolute horror when he found out they were only getting pureed veggies/fruit at the beginning (“Let them taste real food! You get flavor! They get flavor!”).
I just get so swamped. I don’t have time to grind my own locally harvested wheat into flour. Hell, I barely have time to brush my teeth. And when I do have time minus the little ones, I spend it with a cold beer and a good book.
I had to believe that there were options besides Gerber for people like me, who had the skill to follow a basic recipe but not the time or desire to spend an afternoon on crafting magnificence when that afternoon could be spent keeping one-year-olds from killing themselves.
Here are the 3 alternative teething cookies I found that were reasonable for me to make. They’re ordered by preparation time. The last one is a little involved, but you make it while making food for yourself, so it only kind of counts.
When out shopping anyway, I buy a bag of mini bagels (my kids love cinnamon raisin). They’re chewy, and the bagel skins are fun for them to tear through with those first sharp little teeth.
If you take a look around the store with an eye to textured food for a teething baby, it’s funny just how many things pop up outside of the baby food section. They’re usually cheaper and more interestingly flavored. Conversations with other parents usually bring out even more ideas.
EASY HOMEMADE COOKIES: 3 minutes prep, 1 minute cooking, 15-30 minutes cooling
Ingredients: 1 slice bread, 2 tbsp or so of something smooshy (applesauce, jelly, guacamole, banana, whatever. . .the point is squishy spready something)
I got this recipe from Roni at the GreenliteBites blog, with its beautifully photographed set of instructions and cute kid. These are teething cookies for my people–quick, easy, and awesome! The only change I made was to use whatever I had on hand that I could spread on the bread instead of the applesauce she used.
- Cut off the crusts of one slice and flatten it.
- Spread with something gooey. . . seriously, grab whatever your kid likes.
- Roll it into a log while pressing down.
- Microwave it for 1 minute.
- Let it cool, and it will harden into a log.
- Give to your kid.
This gets a little messy as it disintegrates, but I love it because it’s super flexible so you can use whatever you have on hand, and my kids LOVE this thing!
THICK TORTILLA HOMEMADE “COOKIES”: 15 minutes prep, 15 minutes (2-3 minutes each) cooking
Ingredients: 2 tbsp fat (can be butter, lard, Crisco, whatever), 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cups water, 4 cups flour (or 3 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup corn meal)
I sort of excuse this foray into labor-intensive cooking by saying that
- it’s still way easier than most of the recipes I’ve found;
- its discovery was an accident
- you can make these while making your own awesome tortillas.
I needed tortillas, but we didn’t have any, so I googled recipes on the off chance that I could just make the damn things. Turns out they’re easy, even for a crazy busy mom; and the homemade ones are really yummy. You probably have everything you need on the shelf.
The directions for tortillas are here. I made tortillas for the adults in our family by following the directions exactly, and made teething cookies by changing the directions slightly so that they are as follows:
- Mix the dry ingredients (you can substitute 1/4 cup corn meal for 1/4 cup regular flour to get denser cookies).
- Add the fat.
- Add the water.
- Roll to about 2-3 times the thickness of a tortilla on a surface dusted with flour.
- Cut it into child-size pieces with a knife or cookie cutter.
- Oil the surface of the pan/griddle (the adult tortillas are cooked without oil, so do your cookies after you make the tortillas for yourself).
- Cook each side for long enough to start browning.
- Let cool on the counter and it will harden to a chewy cracker, but will not fall apart like a cracker.
I have a kid who loves salty foods, so I add a little salt; the other loves sweet, so I tucked in a little sugar. Done.