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21st Oct 2018

7 things every mum of a hungry, hungry toddler knows to be true

Gillian Fitzpatrick

You’re pretty sure it’s just a growth-spurt. After all, they’re a healthy weight for their age and height.

Still, it’s a growth-spurt that shows no sign of slowing down – because your small one seems to spend much of their day on the hunt for or eating food.

Welcome to the Hungry Toddler, aka the Huddler.

And if you’re a proud mum to an active Huddler, you’ll probably know only too well the following seven observations…

1) Carbs are king

Crackers, pizza, breadsticks, rice-cakes, pasta, bread, and toast – if it’s a carb, your toddler will worship it.

2) They hear everything

Don’t think you can sneak yourself a square of chocolate or nibble unaware on a piece of fruit. Because you can’t. No sooner have you begun to unscrew the biscuit tin then the pit-patter of toddler feet can be heard getting ever louder and ever closer.

3) You negotiate with food

You never thought you’d be one of those parents who’d shove a snack into their child’s hand every time a tantrum threatens to kick-off in public. But then reality came a knockin’ and hey presto! you are one of those parents now.

4) The car is filthy

You pray you never have to give anyone a lift because the family car is an expanse of forgotten raisins, mashed toast, crumbs, rice-cakes, and old biscuits. It’s disgusting but you plan to get around to cleaning it soon. Or at least eventually.

5) Your meals are their meals

They help themselves to a little bit of your breakfast; a few spoonfuls of your lunch, or a sample of your dinner – sorry, your own meals are no longer your own.

6) Doe-eyed perfection

By the age of two they’re already perfected the art of the ‘poor little hungry me,’ approach: big, doe eyes; a quivering lower lip, and a quiet whimpering. You’d love to say it doesn’t work but, of course, it does.

7) You dread the teen years

If this is what they’re like as a two-year-old, you can only assume you’ll be eaten out of house and home when they’re 14 or 15. Forget saving for college, you’ll need a pension-plan that funds the fridge too.