Ice cream can make someone cough because of the sudden irritation of the throat and air passages. It also can be caused by allergies and by breathing in the cold air from ice cream without adequate time for the body to adjust to the change in temperature.
Coughing after eating in general can be caused by several factors. Allergies to certain foods can cause reactions, including coughing. Spicy and greasy foods, along with cold foods, can trigger autoimmune responses that cause coughing. Gastroesophageal reflux disease also can cause issues, including coughing and heartburn, after eating.
Infections in the larynx or esophagus can cause coughing as a result of eating. Dysphagia can make swallowing difficult, resulting in food becoming caught in the throat, leading to coughing. Certain foods with irritating additives can trigger coughing in people with asthma.