‘My daughter refused to eat solids – so I took matters into my own hands’
A mum-of-three has revealed how her own experiences of parenting led to her becoming a go-to resource for millions of parents – sharing her hacks and activities for kids.
Myriam Sandler first took to social media to help empower others and to share advice for kids to develop skills through connection and play.
In six years the 31-year-old has built up an incredible fanbase with almost two million followers across TikTok and Instagram (@mothercould).
Myriam’s own journey began when her first child, Nicole, turned one and would only drink milk, refusing to eat any solid foods.
The influencer, who is also mum to Emma, five, and 17-month-old Ariana, who she shares with Marc, 37, claims doctors dismissed her concerns and simply said her daughter was still growing.
But Myriam’s gut told her something was wrong.
“We literally tried every type of solid; yogurt, soups, kid foods, it didn’t matter,” the mum, who lives in Miami, Florida, told JamPrime.com.
“She would refuse all of it. It was so stressful.
“Although Nicole was healthy, we were so concerned about her not eating and refusing to even touch the food.”
With a degree in psychology and experience in helping children with disabilities, Myriam realised her daughter was experiencing texture sensitivity.
Over the next few months, she used sensory play to expose Nicole to various textures in a low stress environment.
She said: “Having worked with kids who have ADD and ADHD, I knew that sensory play was an effective way of introducing textures and engaging a child.
“I knew her favourite texture was water because she loved the bath, so I started with water based play and slowly introduced new textures.
“I made the water blue with food colouring and added some toy ducks to make it a ‘pond’.
“I changed the textures every three to four days to keep play interesting and new.
“I made up recipes in my kitchen, making play dough and slime that was edible, and colourful spaghetti so she could get used to the texture through play, rather than at the dinner table.”
Eventually, Myriam’s hard work began to pay off.
She said: “Babies put everything in their mouths, so she quickly became accustomed to these textures and by the time she got to the dinner table she’d try real spaghetti and actually enjoy it.”
Within a few months, Nicole was eating all kinds of foods like salmon and quinoa.
Myriam said: “We were thrilled that we were coming out of this challenging phase.
“Nicole enjoyed meal times, which meant we all started enjoying meals together as a family.”
Empowered by her parenting victory, Myriam started Mothercould, a website where she shared her recipes and ideas for sensory play with videos made in her own kitchen.
She said: “Sensory play will captivate a child’s imagination for long periods of time because they are using all their senses and it is open-ended play.
“The moment I realised the sensory play was working for my daughter was my ‘mother could’ moment.”
The mum also shares cleaning hacks for parents, tips for travelling with kids and products to make life easier.