Julia thinks sweet potatoes are candy…

Feeding Julia exhausts me.

The most trying meal of the day is dinner. She’s tired, fussy and generally not interested in food. And if we don’t get enough food into her, she doesn’t sleep well at night. And since getting Julia to sleep early enough and long enough is another daily challenge, I can’t afford a hungry two-year-old-tummy interfering.

So I am on a perpetual mission to find new tricks to entice her into eating.

One of our favorites at the moment is feeding her ‘hungry dinosaurs’ — where we line up an army of plastic dinosaurs and pretend that each one is chomp-chomping a bite of food and then slip it instead into Julia’s mouth. It’s hilarious how often that game has worked.

Another trick when I’m desperate is having a ‘picnic’ on the carpet. We put down a blanket and eat our dinner in the playroom.

And one day I even had the brainwave to let her make her own ‘Rocket Soup’ for dinner. (I gave her peas, beans and Parmesan cheese to mix together just like the Little Einsteins make for Rocket.)

But last night, all three of those games failed to get more than two bites of dinner into my stubborn little cherub.

I gave up.

Then my mom (Grandma to Julia) called from the kitchen, “Julia do you want some sweet potato?”

(We had some left over baked sweet potato in the fridge that wasn’t part of the evening’s dinner.)

With excitement in my voice, I whispered to Julia, “Quick, Grandma’s got a treat for you… run.” Julia ran into the kitchen calling out, “A treat? A treat? What is it?”

“Yummy sweet potato… It tastes just like candy!”, said Grandma and gave her a cold little cube of baked sweet potato.

And can you believe it? She said, “Mmmm… yummy.” She then played a game of running back and forth from the playroom to the kitchen to continue getting ‘treats’ from Grandma.

Maybe I should nickname Julia my little ‘Sweet Potato’.


  1. says

    I too have a little one that we struggle with. She has some developmental issues that complicate the matter, but I know how exhausting and stressful mealtime can be. One thing I do to ensure she is getting at least some nutrients is to add Carnation instant breakfast drink to her milk. It seems like everytime I find an item she likes or a trick that works, it quickly fails. I’ve tried sweet potato on many occasion to no avail. I’m glad it worked for you. It is an excellent vegetable if you can get them to eat it!

  2. says

    Oh my son is exactly the same!! Anything after 4pm is just torture for everyone! He’s either starving or won’t take a bite! It’s a great idea to let the little ones “make” something of their own for dinner. I will have to give that a try

  3. says

    I’ve pretty much given up on dinner for my son. He eats breakfast and lunch well and I’m happy with that. There has been quite a few nights where dinner has ended up being toast at midnight (when he decides he’s hungry).

  4. says

    It is neat to find out their favorite foods and interesting to find out what foods that they like and dislike isn’t it? My son (who just started Pre-K recently) loves bananas!!!

  5. says

    Good for you. I seem to remember freezing bucket loads of sweet potatoes [in ice cube trays for ‘individual’ servings] but without your success I’m afraid.

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