There’s a new phrase rocking around the Mother & Baby office – HANGRY. Some of you may already be familiar with the term, but for those who don’t, ‘Hangry’ is the word to describe your little one who is so hungry that nothing will transform him from the tantrum-throwing, nothing-can-please-me monster he’s become.

My two-year-old has been waking up ‘hangry’ for the past week now. Each morning has dissolved into a teary battle over eating the rice bubbles he desperately wanted, before changing his mind and wanting WeetBix, to then wanting something “special” without being able to tell me what “special” is, all without putting spoon to mouth once… and all before 6.30am while also trying to get ready for work and before the coffee has kicked in!

Talking with other mums, it’s a scenario that’s common in households across the country. Why is it that food becomes our biggest battleground once our little ones hit toddlerhood? Why can’t they just eat what you’ve put in front of them if the reason for their meltdown is because they’re hungry? How often have you slaved away cooking something they demolished a few nights before, only for it to be given a big thumbs down without even trying it a few nights later? And why is it that they’ll eat quinoa, steamed vegies and pumpkin soup at day-care and demand only chicken nuggets or baked beans when they’re at home? It’s enough to make you throw your arms up in despair!

Thankfully (so they tell us), it’s just a phase and soon enough dinnertime becomes a place where the family can come together and talk about their day, without any arguments over whether the carrots are cut in the correct shape for one’s liking. Until then, its rice bubbles, mixed with weetbix and whatever constitutes “special” while we ride the storm.

But PS: I did beat the ‘hangry’ meltdown this morning, so maybe things are already looking up.