Unlike yesterday’s post where Naomi discussed her son Ethan’s tantrums for toys, Mabel’s diva strops are nearly always over food.

And I don’t mean a meltdown over melon. Or a wobbler over waiting for her dinner, it’s never a demand for something considered healthy or because she’s hungry even, it’s essentially a screaming/crying/stomping episode over the sugary stuff.

We’ve never deprived her of anything, she’s always had a fairly balanced diet. We’ve actively encouraged fruit and vegetables, which she does eat daily eventually, but if she had her way, Mabel would exist on a platter of chocolate buttons, cake and party rings.

She wakes up in the morning and asks for sweeties. She comes home from nursery and demands an ice-cream. Yes, even in February. I wonder if it’s just a phase. Or if it’s just in her genes – I have the most unyielding desire for junk known to man. Although I swear I don’t let her see me devour a handful of hobnobs for lunch, and gone are the days I could surreptitiously munch on a custard cream whilst she was safely in the next room watching Bing. The kid has exceptional biscuit radar, she’d literally be by my side in a flash “Mummy! What you got?!” swiftly followed by “Where’s mine?!”.

It’s not that I don’t ever want her to enjoy a treat. It’s just that I want her to understand exactly that – certain things are a treat. And that smarties are not a valid meal substitute. *note to self.

I’m just not sure where I’m going wrong. And it’s becoming exhausting.

I’ve tried a few of the “healthier” treat alternatives, Yoyos, Fruit Bowl “peelers”, those bear paw things that look like a bag of jelly tots. But she’s just not having any of it, and I suppose that fact is these things are not the same. It’s like when I embark on snacking on an almond and cacao energy ball rather than a Kitkat. The whole time I think how much I’d prefer a bloody Kitkat. And nearly always give in and end up eating both.

I know someone mentioned chewable vitamins in the comments section of one of my other features, and I really need to buy some – I feel this might be an option for the early morning breakdown when she’s told she can’t have endless fistfuls of raisins with her Rice Crispies.

I find many of the food and drink products aimed at children terribly misleading, my husband James and I have had many a discussion about it. The whole refined vs natural sugar debate. Isn’t sugar just sugar? in the grand scheme of things? I hear and read so many contradictory reports and alleged research, I’m not sure what to believe anymore.

Do you feel your littles have a balanced diet? What do you do when they flatly refuse to eat anything but a jammy dodger and a bag of Quavers? Are there any snacks/treats you can recommend that are easy to make or I can purchase from the supermarket that your children genuinely enjoy?