Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Keeping Tantrum-Treatment in the Diaper Bag!

This past week, we went on a group field trip to a local museum. We had a great time - but one of the mamas who came on the trip did not. In fact, she was pretty miserable - because her wee one spent the entire two hour trip in one very long tantrum. Of course, the little one did come up for air occasionally, but she went right back into it as soon as she caught her breath.

I felt so badly for that poor mama.

I have no idea what caused that little one's problem that morning. And toddler tantrums are something that I am still learning to cope with - there are so many different kinds and causes.

But one thing that I've learned (the hard way) is that at a certain age - early toddlerhood - hunger will cause absolutely the worst tantrums. With our first-born, I would be ready to pound my head into the wall with frustration at this type of tantrum (the manic kind that results in repeat misbehavior and hyperactivity) - until I finally learned that I had to bodily tie the toddler into his high chair and set massive amounts of food (especially fats and proteins) in front of him. He would eat like a raving maniac, and then be fine.

Our current toddler has had several of these types of tantrums, but now - with a little experience - they're a lot easier to recognize. And since I'm working really hard on providing regular meals and snacks (that always have protein and fat in them), they occur far less often than before.

I have since heard this in multiple places - that high-protein/fat food is essential in preventing tantrums - and other negative toddler behaviors too, such as whining. Over at one of my all-time-favorite blogs, Like Mother Like Daughter, Auntie Leila shares in her awesome article on "Whining Whiners and How to Cure Them":
"The sorts of things that adults eat are often not suitable for children. You might be fine with your kale salad and your handful of nuts and your quinoa carrot stew, but a growing child needs fats and protein and nursery food -- and plenty of it...
"When you notice a marked rise in whining, put peanut butter and butter in the oatmeal, cheese in the eggs, extra butter on the toast, chips and fruit next to the sandwich, ham with the rice, cream in the soup, whole milk ricotta in the lasagna, whole milk in the glass, cookies with the milk, and ice cream for dessert. (You knew I'd say that!)
"Make sure the whiner gets a protein-rich snack between meals (but not right before a meal -- sit him down and feed him instead -- it hardly matters what, just so it's filling)."
And so, with all that in mind... I introduce to you my new diaper-bag essential!

Cute, no?
That's right! Portable peanut butter - chock-full of protein and fat. Add a spoon, and we're set (and maybe some raisins if I have them on hand). We may have to deal with tantrums, but I don't want protein-need tantrums and/or whining to be an issue for us while we're out and about.

It may not be the healthiest peanut butter, but... it's portable. And it comes in mini-packs! I'm a sucker for mini-packs when it comes to packing diaper-bags. So we'll deal with the peanut butter and eat the healthier type at home.

How do YOU prevent toddler tantrums? Let me know your strategies, please!


  1. Good idea! I have little containers (I think they're part of a Rubbermaid set -- the kind that the lid snaps to the bottom of the container, so that you can either stack full containers together (less likely to slip/fall), or keep the lid with the open container so you never lose it. Anyway, they only hold a small amount -- maybe 1/4 cup -- but that would be perfect for holding a bit of peanut butter and/or raisins, and then you can use the good stuff.

  2. But that would require.... planning ahead! Oh, no!!!! :)

    In all seriousness, I probably will pack peanut butter - but I want to have back-up, LOL!! :) Really, the truth is just that you can't have too much peanut butter. Especially with toddlers. With my first, I made up this rule: "The success of any outing with a toddler is directly proportional to the number of peanut butter sandwiches that one has in one's purse." It's true, too! :)


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