My day on a plate - toddler style

Toddlers sometimes prefer to conduct experiments with their food.
Toddlers sometimes prefer to conduct experiments with their food.  Photo: Daniela Solomon

6am: A few sips of water. I like to start my day well-hydrated so I'm feeling clear-eyed and bright, ready to tackle my to-do list.

7am: Breakfast today is porridge with a side serving of fruit. I like to have carbs in the morning as it gives me plenty of energy. Plus, I find porridge is an excellent food to smear on my clothes and in my hair.

Fruit not only satisfies my sweet tooth, it's also a great food to explore some of my scientific theories.

Today I'm exploring the concepts of distance and gravity, and am pleased to discover that grapes can be thrown further than blueberries.

9am: I find some blu-tack on the wall and am delighted to finally taste this forbidden fruit. Unfortunately, while it has a great texture, the taste is left wanting.

10am:  As a snack this morning I decide to have some dairy in the form of yoghurt.

Yoghurt is a wonderful way to test my newfound desire for independence.

I will not tolerate anyone feeding me this snack, and have found that using my hands is a far more efficient method of getting yoghurt in my mouth than using a spoon.

I like to finish my snack with a light smear of yoghurt in my hair, as I find it has underappreciated hair-conditioning qualities.


10.40am: My brother has left Lego pieces all over the floor and I am thrilled to add each piece to my culinary repertoire.

Unfortunately, all the different colours, shapes and sizes all taste the same and I'm ultimately shooed away from it when mum finds me.

11.30am: Lunch today is wholemeal toast with avocado and tuna, followed by watermelon.

Watermelon is another food that works wonders for experiments. Today I aim to discover how much juice can be extracted with my hands by squeezing it.

Turns out, the answer is quite a lot.

2.45pm: I chew on the side of my crib for a while and enjoy the gritty texture against my teeth. It's a great amuse-bouche before my afternoon snack.

3pm: I feel the 3pm slump quite significantly so require energy-boosting foods to get me through the afternoon 'blahs'.

My preferred snack is anything that comes in a foil wrapper. I'm not fussy; it just needs to be artificially sweetened, crunchy or gooey, and able to make strangers tut-tut at my poor diet.

For some reason I am not given my preferred snack today. Instead I am given some indistinguishable vegetable concoction.

I let my disappointment be known using the well-practiced art of Food Refusal.

4.20pm: My sister has left a few of her textas within arm's reach and I thoroughly enjoy removing the lids and sampling a few of the colours. The flavour is hard to describe. Think erasers mixed with ink.

5pm: Dinner tonight is broccoli, chicken and pasta. 

As with all sit-down meals, I decide to make dinner more of a time for exploration rather than eating.

I discover broccoli makes a lovely paste. I already know that crumbed chicken goes particularly crusty when thrown on the floor and forgotten about, so I throw some smaller pieces under the couch and hope they are not discovered.

Meanwhile, I find the gooeyness of pasta makes it ideal for sticking to surfaces like the wall.

Mum doesn't seem as pleased with my discoveries as I am.

7pm: After a long day it's time for my pre-bedtime milk. In keeping with my ideals as a lacto-tarian (that is, someone who prefers dairy foods above all others), milk is up there with my favourite beverage.

Dietitian's comments:

Toddler has a great balance of food groups offered to her throughout the day. However, she should cut back on attempting to eat non-food items, and aim to fill up on nutritious meals instead. Toddler should try to increase her protein and fibre intake, while cutting back on sucking on textas and eating Lego.

Please note, we will not be inviting Toddler back to feature in this 'Day on a Plate' column again as she does not offer readers any useable suggestions on how to improve their diet.