When I was a kid I had a favorite book. I checked it out from the library constantly. It wasn’t a fairy tale or an adventure story. It was an old Disney Cookbook. I loved that thing. I only ever made cookies, but I flipped through the pages every time I checked it out, looking at all the various options, especially in the dessert section.
In my house growing up, a meal wasn’t complete without dessert. My parents are both great cooks. My dad used to make Baked Alaska, for goodness sake! This fondness for dessert has stuck with me over the years. It’s a hard habit to break. Unfortunately, it’s a habit my kids have learned from me. It’s a running question at my dinner table, “What’s for dessert?”
On Saturday, I watched a friend’s two kids overnight. Five kids. Two pizzas. Her daughter approached me, about four bites in to her small slice of pizza, asking, “Is this enough pizza so I can have dessert?” Considering the kids had just returned from the video store where they had shared a bag of candy like it was their last meal on earth, I told her she’d already had dessert. Surprise, surprise, she begged me for something to eat a couple of hours later.
I’ve been trying to instill healthy habits in my kids. Often, they will ask me, “Is this a healthy choice?” when examining a box of cereal or bag of chips. My love of ice cream has never wavered. Ask any of my friends. I typically have a couple cartons in my freezer at all times… But, I’ve also taught my kiddos about the power of frozen grapes. They curb your appetite for ice cream, while still satisfying your sweet tooth.
Do you offer dessert to your kids? How often? Is it a nightly thing? Weekly? Only on special occasions? And while we’re at it, do you give your kids a bedtime snack?