A mom gave her daughter doughnuts for breakfast, and it sparked a whole food-shaming controversy

A mother who fed her toddler doughnuts for breakfast was food-shamed on TikTok.

"Plate my 1 year old's breakfast with me," Alexandra Sabol, 26, captioned her January TikTok video with well over 12 million views.

On her video, the North Carolina mom cut up three powdered doughnuts and placed them on a pink plate with a package of cinnamon apple sauce for her little girl.

Many of the 39,000 commenters played (rude) food critic.

  • "So just sugar."

  • "This is real? OMG."

  • "The fresh fruit? The protein? The grains?"

  • "Wow. What kind of breakfast is this?"

  • "Sugar can't be good for a 1 year old's development."

  • "This breaks my heart."

  • "I tripped over my jaw running to the comments."

Others were kinder, pointing out that kids can be picky and that convenience beats perfection.

  • "That's what realistic motherhood looks like!"

  • "Your kids are fed, they are happy. You are doing a good job."

  • "For years, my oldest would only eat a pack of mini chocolate muffins for breakfast. We all just do what we can."

  • "My daughter survived on biscuits and fish sticks and would eat nothing else. No shame, mama!"

  • "Sometimes my kids have ice cream for breakfast because it's fun."

  • "Can someone explain the difference between giving kids donuts for breakfast versus pancakes with syrup?"

Sabol, whose other children are 7 and 4, tells TODAY.com that she started her TikTok account so her mom, who lives in Florida, could keep up with her grandchildren. Her food videos, however, were created in frustration.

"I kept seeing these pretty mom influencers who feed their kids organic food in pristine kitchens and I felt alone," she says. "I wanted to make content for moms who feed their kids like I do, or who aren't super skinny. I wanted to be relatable and transparent as a mom."

Sabol said the feedback on her new video was extreme mom shaming, and weight shaming.

"People don't necessarily care what I feed my kids because there are multiple TikTok videos of (skinny) moms feeding their kids (similar foods) and the comments usually say, 'You're doing great, Mama!'" remarks Sabol. "Even when I post videos of preparing eggs and fruit, I get the same comments about how 'unhealthy' I am."

That morning, Sabol gave her daughter powdered doughnuts to honor her mother, who often spoiled her two eldest grandchildren with the mini treats. Sabol thought her mom would be tickled by the tribute video.

Knowing her daughter is a picky eater, Sabol introduced the doughnuts, knowing they might not hit the spot. As she suspected, her daughter reached for the apple sauce and only picked at the doughnuts.

Sabol says her children typically eat a balanced diet and that comments suggesting they are "predisposed to obesity" bite.

"I was bullied throughout school and I never had a lot of friends," Sabol says. "I am used to hate comments but it bothers me when people directly attack my kids. I delete those comments."

Sabol says that parents who follow her because her videos make them feel less alone make her efforts worth it.

"People have told me, 'I was looking for an influencer I can relate to and I'm so glad I found your page,'" she says. "Those messages keep me going. We're all just trying our hardest."

This article was originally published on TODAY.com