How Can We Teach Children About Food Dessert

Top 3 Strategies for Serving Dessert to Kids

Was it ever the case that your parents used dessert as a bribe to encourage you to eat veggies that you were otherwise uninterested in? Have you ever done something like this to your children? On the one hand, I mean. It may be regarded a brilliant strategy.because every child wants to receive the “reward” at the conclusion of their meal, it can surely be used to motivate children to complete their meal. I’m back, though, to throw some light on why this is not the technique I employ or teach, and to explain why.

Why making dessert a prize to be won is not a great strategy

Here’s why giving your child dessert as a reward at the end of a meal might be detrimental to his or her eating development, especially if you’re dealing with a fussy eater. For starters, it elevates dessert to the status of a more special cuisine than other meals. Isn’t it true that only the nicest things are given away as prizes? What will a youngster think is as follows. “Certainly, dessert is preferable to those veggies you’re attempting to force down my throat. In fact. what about those vegetables?

As a result, it’s hardly surprising that we end up with children who are infatuated with dessert.

  • Thirdly and most importantly, it connects dessert (and eating in general) to moral behavior.
  • You are deserving of dessert.
  • There will be no dessert for you.
  • What we eat or don’t eat has nothing to do with whether or not we are a good or bad person.
  • We occasionally have a youngster who has severe picky eating issues and is unable to consume a certain food.
  • To encourage people to eat vegetables, rather than teaching them how to do so, we use guilt to force them to do so in the name of nourishment (and then reward them with sugary food at the end, which makes no sense haha).
  • That’s something we should avoid.

When it is served, dessert should be presented to provide happiness and pleasure, as well as to teach your child how to appropriately control sweets.

They are unavoidable; thus, educating our children on how to include them healthfully into their diets in a systematic manner (just like any other food) is essential in preparing them to make wise decisions for themselves as they get older.

As a result of this, we frequently believe that desserts and sweets play a little role in our child’s diet.

Food may provide your body with the nutrition and vitamins it needs to flourish, but desserts can also provide emotional nourishment by bringing people together and instilling a feeling of satisfaction in them.

There are certain essential ideas that I’d want to share with you that can assist you in include dessert in your child’s diet in a balanced manner, all while assisting them in developing a healthy relationship with desserts and sugar in general!

Take comfort in the fact that I have provided you with my top three suggestions on how to properly manage desserts!

1. Serve it up regularly (and offer it to everyone)

Have you ever noticed that your youngster constantly desires what they are unable to have? Adults are just as bad as children in this regard. It’s okay if your children never, ever see dessert (or “treat” items) available or accessible in the house. Better believe they’ll go insane when they eventually come across it outside of the home, because they won’t have had any practice handling it or eating it calmly because they didn’t have any practice at home. No dessert needs to be anything that has been branded as a bad meal or as a banned food item to be enjoyed.

  • The phrase “regularly” is a nebulous and subjective concept.
  • For some families who have always eaten dessert as a tradition growing up, three to four times per week may be more appropriate.
  • Whatever the appropriate serving size for you and your family is, creating a schedule for when you’ll serve it is really beneficial so that your youngster knows when it will be included in the meal plan rotation.
  • Note that, if a dessert is served at all, it is offered to everyone, regardless of how much or what they ate for their main course.
  • The use of pressure in this manner will always backfire in the long term, as we know.
  • It is offered because you have placed it on the menu, not because your child has requested it, or because they “deserve” it, or any other reason.
2. Serve a small portion of dessertwitha meal

I’m sure you think I’m insane, don’t you? When I tell parents to try this, I receive a lot of negative feedback. But, with enough time and patience, this is an excellent method of approaching sweets! And because it is offered with the meal, people can choose to eat it first, last, or in little portions during the meal. It is all up to them! Serving your child dessert with the meal removes the impression of it being a reward and levels the playing field between that sort of food and other types of meals, making it appear less special and more like any other dish you would offer to your other children.

  • This inhibits your kid from eating consciously and instead encourages them to concentrate on the end goal of receiving that dessert, which may lead them to eat more or less than they would normally consume, disregarding their hunger and fullness cues in the process.
  • After trying this technique out, you’ll most likely find that your youngster will immediately fill up on the dessert first, especially after serving it this way for the first few times.
  • Please see my recommendation below if you wish to try your hand at it.
  • Once the dessert has been consumed, it is recommended that they move on to the other foods on the table.

You must trust the process; it will take some time for them to become accustomed to this, but know that they will be receiving nourishment from at least one source and that they will become less prone to eating the dessert first as time goes on.

3. Change up the idea of what is considered a dessert!

I want you to reconsider your notions of what constitutes dessert! Dessert does not have to consist of cake, cookies, ice cream, or drink to be considered. Dessert is entirely up to you, and it can be anything that signifies the conclusion of a dinner. In reality, although dessert is often something sweet, the meaning of dessert is subjective and differs from person to person and from region to region throughout the world. Desserts might include items such as cheese, almonds, and even something as simple as a cup of coffee (for adults) as examples.

Here are some examples of simple sweets that are also high in nutrients:

  • Dates that have been stuffed with natural almond or peanut butter
  • Apple slices drizzled with honey are a delicious snack. yoghurt-covered blueberries (if your child is under 4, be sure to feed them quartered)
  • Yogurt-covered strawberries Smoothie pops
  • Yogurt with flavorings
  • Bar of granola with chocolate chunks
  • Savoury muffins made with cheese and vegetables
  • Overnight oats with fruity flavors

At the end of the day, the decisions about when to offer dessert, what to serve, and how often to serve it are all decisions that must be made collectively as a family and can help to maintain a sense of balance at mealtimes. These suggestions can assist you in turning dessert into a useful teaching tool and in effectively incorporating it into your child’s diet without having to engage in continual conflicts. More information on how to include these suggestions may be found in MyFeeding Toddlers online course, which can also assist you in ensuring that your child’s food is balanced in a good way.

If you would like further information on:

  • In this article, we’ll show you how to teach your child how to create a healthy connection with all meals. How to encourage experimental eating while still dealing with finicky eaters
  • What meals should offer toddlers in order to keep them healthy and provide them with adequate nourishment
  • Managing mealtime behavior and parenting with confidence during mealtimes are covered in this chapter.

Then have a look at myFeeding Toddlers, an online course for parents. Enroll right now and begin your adventure with me!

5 Tips to Help Children Be Mindful About Dessert

The holidays are among us once more, which means it’s time to indulge in some sugary treats. I frequently hear queries from families about how often dessert (candy/sugar/treats) is acceptable and whether or not the entire family should be subject to rules and limitations. As a general rule, I advise families against placing a stringent limit on dessert or treating it as a banned dish. A recent study discovered that the more attention we pay to dessert, the more fascinated a youngster would get on it (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).

  • The dietician and nutrition specialist Ellyn Satter suggests serving a bit of dessert with the meal in order to level the playing field with other items.
  • She also urges parents to let their children to eat as much as they want on occasion by providing a platter of cookies (along with milk) as a snack.
  • The majority of the time, my children will eat dessert three to four evenings a week, which is usually a homemade cookie, chocolate square, or a scoop of ice cream during the summer.
  • They are aware that dessert is always given at dinner at Grandma’s place on Sunday nights, and that there are no restrictions on when it is served.

For parents concerned about their children consuming too much sugar, it’s important to note that 45-50 grams of added sugar per day for an 8-12 year old is within the acceptable range specified by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines and is sufficient to make them feel they are not depriving themselves.

For more information, see my blog post: For their own “flexible” dessert policy, I advise families to develop a strategy that works best for their own home.

Children under the age of two do not require frequent dessert in their meals since it might deplete them of critical nutrients.

When they are older, they will have lots of opportunities to learn to self-regulate in the presence of sweets.

Considering that children are inherently driven to sweet foods, the challenge is to neutralize their appeal by using these 5 strategies in your home to help your child develop a healthy relationship with dessert and learn to self-regulate.

  1. The provision of dessert should not be contingent on certain circumstances (such as clearing your plate or eating your veggies)
  2. Dessert should not be viewed as a form of compensation or bribe. Incorporate sweets into your meal plan as a snack or as a component of a meal, as desired. Desserts may be incorporated into a balanced diet, and they should not be regarded as a banned item in this manner. If a weeping toddler or an anxious preschooler needs to be soothed, do not use sweet food to quiet their emotions. Avoid making a comparison between “excellent food” and “poor food.” In my mind, food is best described as “growing food” or “long-lasting energy fuel,” whereas sweet foods are best described as “fun food” or dessert.

Laura Cipullo, RD

Posting was made at 19:00 hun “What’s ForDessert?” asks a parent. By Dina Pearson, RDN of Healthy Little Eaters, a nutritionist. Alexis Fam Photography through Compfightcc provided the image. Why Do I Include Dessert With My Meal? Dessert is often offered at the conclusion of a dinner in most homes. When everyone has finished their main course and sides and is rubbing their full tummies in contentment, the hostess clears the table, disappears into the kitchen, and then emerges with a pleased look on her face as she delivers.

  1. You may now relax and enjoy a moment of pleasure after all of your hard work.
  2. I don’t want to inadvertently transmit the unwanted notion that dessert is just for people who are already full.
  3. Sugary treats are so appealing to young toddlers that they will learn to ignore their hunger if it means getting their hands on some cookies–especially if cookies are in short supply.
  4. The findings, according to the study’s authors, may be used to encourage children to consume less calories.
  5. Since I believe that children do a sufficient job of controlling themselves when they have consistent meals and snacks, I do not believe in micromanaging calories.
  6. Alternatively, it might educate people to overeat in order to obtain what they truly desire.
  7. It certainly was the case with my four-year-old before we made the move to organic foods.
  8. That’s something else I don’t want to impart on my students.
See also:  I Have No Food What Dessert Can I Make

The power struggle between dessert and broccoli is all too common when dealing with finicky eaters: “Okay, dear, take another piece of your chicken and two more bits of your broccoli and then you’ll be allowed to have dessert.” In the families that come to me for dietary advice, I see this occurring all the time.

  • It’s not working for any of the groups involved.
  • Chicken is very delicious!
  • Sweets, on the other hand, are something we take very seriously.
  • We don’t need to make strong sweet flavors into a larger thing for kids since they are already naturally attracted to them in the first place.
  • What if that’s all they eat the rest of their lives?
  • How can it be OK for children to subsist solely on cake and cookies until their palates develop?
  • It is totally up to you how frequently you offer dessert.
  • It is acceptable to limit the amount of dessert served with a meal.
  • Furthermore, children are served a ‘child-size’ portion rather than a full adult quantity (translate that to suit your preferences).

Here are some samples of portions I’ve prepared and served: 1/2 to 1 cupcake (1 square of chocolate, 1 lollipop, small slice of pie or cake, 1 coconut macaroon, small brownie, 2-3 tiny candy pieces, 1 teacup full of pudding, 1 teacup full of yogurt combined with fruit, and 1 coconut macaroon) (depending on size).

  • I’m well aware that this isn’t going to be enough food for them.
  • It’s possible that if the dessert had not been on the table, they wouldn’t have eaten much of anything else.
  • When it comes to my children, it appears that the presence of dessert really warms them up to the thought of coming to the table and relaxes them instantly, boosting their attitude toward the meal as a result.
  • I enjoy it when I catch my eldest switching between bits of dessert and nibbles of the main course between courses.
  • Any food that is in short supply, especially one that is as appealing as sweets, might cause a youngster to become preoccupied with it.
  • A sense of scarcity is created by serving only a modest quantity of dessert fit for a youngster.
  • If snack time is scheduled correctly (i.e., it is not scheduled too soon to the next meal), it will not interfere with meal preparation.

The first sweet experiment had me almost biting my fingernails as I waited for my daughter to finish her snack, and I have to confess that it was a little uncomfortable.

No cake, no half-cake, and no quarter-cake have ever been consumed by them in their lives.

After all, we have a solid organizational framework in place.

There is no all-day nibbling; instead, meals and snacks are served at predetermined intervals.

However, within that structure, the freedom afforded by the Division of Responsibility enables me to teach certain crucial lessons that I would not be able to impart if I micromanaged every mouthful.

To be really honest, I believe that only you and your family can provide an answer to this issue.

Chocolate is one of my favorite foods.

Dessert is something I provide on a regular basis for my family.

And if I serve something delicious only to keep them from feeling too starved, I won’t have to do much to complete my mission.

She had little interest in pediatric nutrition before to becoming a mother of her own children.

Seeing a kid patient on her schedule has been one of her favorite things to do.

Her most recent project is a collaborative online child feeding course with another dietitian, which she is now teaching.

Adina is married with two children and two labradoodles, and she resides in southeastern Washington with her husband and children. For more information about Adina, visit her website at

How to serve dessert to kids?

I’m always interested in hearing how other people handle their dessert challenges. I recently asked my Facebook fans to submit their favorite ways to serve dessert to children, which sparked a lively conversation. Among the many different techniques, disappointments, and wins that parents described, one thing was clear: controlling sweets is a difficult task to do. Most of us are aware that tempting children with desserts to urge them to eat balanced meals is counterproductive, but many parents are reluctant to give up a successful method of getting vegetables into their children’s bellies.

  1. Dessert should not be considered a reward for consuming other foods.
  2. If you’ve prepared dessert for the dinner, feel free to serve a modest portion to your children, regardless of how much they ate throughout the meal.
  3. Make certain that children are not overtired by the time they sit down to eat.
  4. Offer a little snack instead of lunch if your kid’s sleeping routine is disrupted, and serve lunch when your youngster is up and rested.
  5. A fatigued youngster makes for a poor eater.
  6. The natural tendency is for your youngster to go toward a safer alternative – dessert – if every item presented at a meal is “beyond” his or her eating capacity.
  7. In the case of a young child who does not yet eat chicken, balance out the meal with a side of the carbohydrate and/or vegetable that he generally prefers when he is hungry.

Your children will most likely devour it first, especially if you serve it right away.

At one point during her “sweet tooth” phase, I noticed my 4-year-old eating a tablespoon of flavored yogurt many times throughout the meal, which I assumed was a snack.

Desserts should be varied.

Desserts such as fruit, smoothies, and yogurt are excellent choices.

On rare occasions, give your children the freedom to eat as much as they want.

When children see this behavior, they are given a vital message: “You can have sweet things from time to time, and there will be additional opportunities to eat them on another day.” It’s also a terrific strategy to deal with the glut of candy that comes with the holiday season.

Teach your children to eat until they are full rather than excess.

Maintain order so that the children come at the table with a healthy appetite.

If my children are not hungry, they will not be interested in my dinner options and will instead concentrate on dessert.

Of course, there is always the possibility that children would just eat dessert and refuse to consume anything else– this is a reality of life!

I’d want to know how you deal with sweets in your family.

Taking good care of my child means feeding him with love and common sense. Having a “clean plate club” membership has negative consequences, according to B. Wansink, C. Payne, and C. Werle. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, vol. 162, no. 10, p. 994-5, October 2008.

The Secret to Teaching Kids Moderation? Stop Making a Big Deal About Sweets.

In this third installment of the Dessert Dilemma series, I’m thrilled to welcome a guest article from a mother of two children. Maryann Jacobsen, MS, RD, author of the excellent blogRaise Healthy Eaters, is a good example. She says how providing some structure–as well as maintaining her composure–helps her children control their sweets: Maryann Jacobsen, MS, RDM, is a registered dietician. The majority of parents want to educate their children how to consume sweets in moderation. How, exactly, is the million-dollar question.

  • You’re familiar with the type.
  • They also don’t appear to be feeling any remorse for indulging in such delicacies.
  • I feel that the key to teaching children moderation is to provide structure in their diet and to maintain a neutral attitude.
  • Food is consumed at the same time every day in my family, whether at the table or while we are on the road.
  • So that when my 4-year-old daughter requests cookies or ice cream, which are two of her favorite treats, I can react in a structured manner.
  • This is significantly more successful than saying “no,” as youngsters feel at peace when they know they will enjoy their favorite foods again.
  • Sweets become less of a huge concern when you adopt a neutral mindset.
  • Studies demonstrate that paying attention to such foods, particularly when they are used as incentives or taken away as punishment, increases the desire for them among youngsters.
  • Despite the fact that it may seem paradoxical, understanding that you may have more when you want is an important component of learning moderation.
  • People are more likely to act quickly when they create a sense of scarcity by stating things like, “Only 2 days left to purchase X product at a fantastic price.” However, when you know that something will be available at a reasonable price for a lengthy period of time, you are less hurried.
  • Check out the entries below from Maryann about kidssweets to learn more about the subject.

The Managing Sweets Series is a collection of articles about managing sweets. 10 Strategies for Putting an End to Children’s Sugar Addiction Do you want to raise a child that is obsessed with sweets? Follow These 8 Steps After 20 years, here’s what it looks like when you reward children with food.

Kids Beg for Dessert? How to Stop Fighting with Your Kids About Food

After two more bites of broccoli, you’ll be able to indulge in dessert. Cookies? In no manner, shape, or form! I bet you haven’t even eaten your meal yet. If you’ve ever fought with your children over food – particularly dessert – you’re not alone in your feelings. Parents today are frequently concerned about the nutritional status of their children. It also puts parents and children in a position to have huge disagreements. The absence of dessert in our household reflects this fact. Is there no dessert?

No, that is not the case.

In fact, I consume chocolate on a daily basis.

It’s past time to quit arguing with your children about food issues.


The fact that we don’t have dessert means that it isn’t served as a distinct meal in our home. Desserts are not required to be consumed after dinner. We also don’t refer to sweet meals as “treats” or “dessert,” which is a significant distinction. First and foremost, consider the question of why dessert exists in the first place. It is mostly derived from historical precedent. There are, without a doubt, numerous civilizations that approach it differently. Some people believe that Japanese people do not often eat dessert after dinner.

  • Following supper, our parents and grandparents would serve pie or ice cream.
  • It is frequently not a deliberate decision, but rather a result of long-standing custom.
  • Alternatively, the French may serve a cheese course after dinner.
  • Now that it has acquired significance, it is a source of contention between parents and children around dinnertime.


You might be surprised by some of the drawbacks of dessert. It’s not because sugar is bad, despite the fact that sugar is often vilified by the diet culture business and other groups. 1.Preparing a distinct dessert course raises sweet cuisine to a higher level of sophistication. Being partially banned makes it more unique and appealing since it adds to its appeal. Adults create a distinct category for sweets and then immediately remove access to it from the internet. You might be able to have a piece of scrumptious cake if you’re exceptionally good.

  • Of course, it will pique the attention of your youngsters even more!
  • The ability of youngsters to recognize hunger and fullness cues is diminished.
  • (For further information, see 10 recommendations for intuitive eating for kids.) 3.Traditionally, the dessert course must be “won” by finishing a portion of the prior meal to the satisfaction of an adult.
  • So, what happens on the day in the future when your child merely eats a cookie for the sake of eating it?
  • (Learn more about why you shouldn’t make your children clear their plates in this article.) 4.The dessert course causes a scuffle between the parents and the children.
  • However, as parents are well aware, once a boundary has been established, it must be maintained.

As a result, when you impose a restriction on sweets that is somewhat arbitrary and hence increases the need for the sweet, it leads to food disputes, skirmishes, and arguments that make mealtimes chaotic and stressful for everyone involved. Save this for later:

Stop fighting with your kids about dessert and do this instead:

These four suggestions can help you reduce the number of fights you have with your children and stop them from arguing over dessert: First and foremost, recognize any hidden biases or unconscious assumptions you may have. Dread of their children developing bigger bodies or being called “fat” is a common fear that lurks beneath the surface of parents’ expressed worries about sugar and obesity. Diet culture has become so pervasive that we are often unaware of our own latent views regarding body size.

  1. Even if you’ve learnt not to categorize foods as “good” or “bad/naughty,” you might apply the “sometimes/always” dichotomy to eating in certain circumstances.
  2. Recognize that all of these labels demonize food and elevate it to a greater level of importance than it ought to be.
  3. Sweets should be served on a regular basis.
  4. If youngsters are only allowed to eat sweets after achieving a certain goal or during a specific time of week, they will begin to center their thoughts on that particular food.
  5. Finally, include desserts in your meal amid other dishes.
  6. Try it as a mid-afternoon snack, between lunch and dinner, to relieve the stress of dinnertime preparations.
See also:  In Psychology What Does It Mean If Someone List Dinner With Table Food , Dessert


Perhaps you’re wondering, what exactly is the relationship between dessert and feminist parenting. Think or Blue’s primary aim is to assist parents and educators in raising children who are free of limiting gender stereotypes and who are compassionate, inclusive youngsters who are ready to change the world. We do this by providing resources and assistance. The information provided here is not intended to be personalized nutrition counseling or dietary recommendations. Instead, we highlight body image as a primary theme of feminist parenting, considering the long history of oppression directed towards women and femmes, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, as well as those who are physically larger than the average person.

A harmonious connection with food is one of the most important components of having a healthy, positive body image.

Interested in learning more? Download our free advice for parents on how to raise children with a positive body image:

How to stop your kid from obsessing over dessert

If you find yourself dealing with demands for sugary snacks on a regular basis, it may be time to rethink the conversation surrounding dessert. How it’s done is explained by a licensed dietician. Michal, Kavita Khan’s* three-year-old son, is always begging for sweets and goodies. From breakfast to supper, he begs for cookies and candies after each meal, even when he’s eaten more than enough to eat himself sick. Kavita gives in a lot since saying “no” causes her to have a massive meltdown. However, there is a problem: Having a high sugar intake has been related to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, including in youngsters.

Children should not consume more than six teaspoons (24 grams) of added sugars per day (added sugars are defined as any sugar, honey, syrup, or other sweetener that is not naturally occurring in the diet).

Creating sugar monsters, on the other hand, is not inevitable.

The limits that parents establish around sweets have a significant impact on whether or not children obsess over them or accept them as a natural component of a healthy diet.

Set treat guidelines

It is your responsibility as a parent to set the tone for good eating. It’s best not to be too harsh or unforgiving with your children’s eating habits (since this develops a bad diet attitude), but you may agree on one treat per day or a few times per week and let them select when they want to enjoy it. Knowing that a reward will be available at some point reduces the likelihood of meltdowns, and allowing your child to select the time gives them a sense of control.

Make whole foods the norm

Children will be more likely to seek certain meals if their parents keep a supply of pastries and candies in the house. Consider this: If there is no licorice in the cupboard, kids are less likely to want it—and if they do, it is a simple solution! Instead of sweets, stock your pantry with nutrient-dense whole foods such as veggies, fruit, whole grains, yogurt, legumes, and nuts to replace your sweets. Even if you only give out goodies a few times a week, try to stick to modest snacks like granola bars or little cookies, which typically contain approximately two to three tablespoons of sugar each.

They are not pantry staples in the traditional sense.

Avoid treats as rewards

If you provide candies to children to console them when they are unhappy or to reward them for excellent behavior, they will learn to eat for reasons other than actual hunger and will associate food with positive emotions such as praise, grief, or joy. Every time they are upset or celebrate a fantastic achievement, they will need sweets as they get older.

Eventually, this might develop into a routine of unhealthful emotional eating. Choose instead to reward children with hugs, additional snuggle time, pleasant words and stickers, or even a favorite book they will enjoy.

Distract and interact

When your youngster is requesting sugar and becomes agitated, divert their focus by giving them your complete and undivided attention. Instead of calming them with cookies, engage them in a game, a puzzle, a building project, or a song-singing session. Most of the time, a sweet yearning would disappear since the person wasn’t genuinely hungry, but instead was simply bored.

There’s always tomorrow

In other words, saying anything along the lines of “you’ve already eaten ice cream today, but there will be time for another treat tomorrow.” “Can you tell me what you’re having?” When your child is begging for gummy bears, you may use this technique to effectively alter the discussion. While it may be tough at first, they will ultimately become accustomed to the fact that another reward will be enjoyed at some point in the future. Then the sense of urgency begins to fade, and the tantrums begin to lessen.

Downplay treats

When we place sweets on a pedestal, we are inviting disaster. They are nothing more than food! The use of phrases like “eat your broccoli or you won’t get any ice cream” communicates to your child that broccoli is unpleasant, but that they will be rewarded with something enjoyable if they do. As a result, this sets a bad precedent. As a substitute, attempt to transmit your personal appreciation of veggies, fruit, and dessert to others using words and body language that is equally enthusiastic.

Don’t ban treats

When we place treats on a pedestal, we get into problems. All they’re doing is consuming food! The use of phrases such as “eat your broccoli or you won’t get any ice cream” communicates to your child that broccoli is unpleasant, but that they will be rewarded with something pleasant if they do so. A bad precedent has been set here. As a substitute, attempt to portray your own appreciation of veggies, fruit, and dessert using words and body language that is equivalent in intensity.

How to Serve Dessert to Kids

Many parents are perplexed by the consumption of sugary meals and sweets by their children. Do we offer them, or should we limit the number of sweets available to children? Is it necessary for them to finish all of their dinner before I serve dessert? When it comes to serving dessert to children, there are a slew of questions!

Avoid Sugars Before 2

As I said in my last blog article, it is generally recommended that children under the age of two avoid foods with added sugars. To learn more about this proposal, please go to the original post linked above.

Offer Sugar After 2

The typical suggestion for children under the age of two, as I discussed in my last blog article, is to avoid foods with added sugars. For more information on this recommendation, please go to the original blog article.

How to Teach Toddler How to Handle Sugary Foods

As I said in my last blog article, the general guideline is to avoid adding sugars to foods for children under the age of two. Make sure to read the entire piece for more information on that advice.

Sugar at 2

Once your child reaches the age of two, you can begin serving dessert on an as-needed basis. Start introducing activities that involve something as simple as a visit at an ice cream parlor, and allow your child to have a scoop of his or her favorite flavor. You want to introduce children to dessert-like meals and demonstrate to them that they are a normal part of daily life. They may be enjoyed, and they can be a part of memorable and enjoyable events. Once again, sugar is not harmful! We want to demonstrate to them that you are not afraid of it as well, and that you can consume it as part of your usual daily routine.

Continue to reduce as much as possible the unneeded addition of sugars to common products.

Make every effort to avoid incorporating sugar-sweetened beverages into your diet.

You should remember nonetheless, that it is your decision when and what food will be provided to your guests.

Dessert is included with this. You are not required to start serving dessert every night merely to expose your child to sugar if that is not what you are accustomed to doing in your household.

How Should You Actually Serve Dessert?

If you are a family that enjoys sweets with dinner, consider serving your dessert with your meal rather than after it as a separate course. I understand that it appears to be counterintuitive, but the most effective method to dethrone sugar from its pedestal is to treat it on an equal footing with all other meals. One benefit of this is that it might make eating other things, such as vegetables, a little bit simpler. We are not instilling in our children the belief that the real meal is subordinate to dessert and is simply something to be endured in order to get to the major event of dessert.

Some of its prestige is lost if it is not something that is cherished and that you must suffer through everything else in order to get there!

Won’t My Kid Only Eat Dessert Then?

Sure, the first time you serve dessert with a meal, your youngster may consume the majority of the dessert. However, it is more than likely that youngsters will consume more than just the dessert! The appeal of dessert diminishes when people realize that it is simply another course of a meal and is not something to look forward to or hold in high regard. Yes, kids still enjoy sweet treats, but it isn’t all they will consume on a regular basis. Unless we convince them that sugar is something they should be obsessed over, they will most likely ignore our advice.

How to Actually Serve Dessert with Meals

If you intend to offer a slice of cake or a cookie as a dessert, place it on the table or on your child’s plate at the same time as the rest of the meal is being served. Allow them to take a few bites. Please don’t make any remarks on how much of other foods they consume, and don’t urge them to consume other foods first. Allow them to take care of it! Our children are excellent at tuning into their bodies; our role is simply to assist them in tuning into those clues.

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How Much Dessert Should You Serve?

This is a frequent question that many parents ask themselves at some point. If so, should you allow them to eat anything they want, as I recommend doing with the other meals on the table? If so, should you limit yourself to a single serving? On this subject, there are two schools of opinion. I’ll share them both with you, and you can determine which one is the most appropriate for your family. Just bear in mind that our children may frequently take us by surprise if we simply believe that they understand what they are doing with the amount of food they consume.

Give as Much Dessert as They Want

The first approach to dealing with dessert is to just allow them to eat as much as they want. For dessert, if you’re providing cake, place the cake that has to be eaten out of the way and allow them to enjoy more than one serving, just like you would an adult. Discuss their feelings with them, urging them to draw the link between listening to their bodies and how much they require, as well as how they feel after consuming a large amount of sugar. They will most likely not feel well the first time they consume more calories than they can handle.

One of the most important aspects of this is to use entirely neutral language, making no judgments about your child or the meal.

Just be there to support them as they work through their emotions. Several children will surprise you by self-regulating their food intake after they have made the link, and even before that!

Give One Portion of Dessert

The alternative approach of dealing with dessert is to serve one portion of dessert to each person with their meal, and then remove the rest of the dessert from the table altogether. If your youngster is still very distracted by dessert, it may be able to divert his or her focus away from it. However, it constitutes a type of restriction in and of itself. Using this strategy, it is also advised that you utilize snacks as an opportunity to provide endless amounts of a dessert to your guests. A good illustration of this would be serving only one piece of cake at a dinner party and leaving it at that.

Place a platter of cookies in front of your child and let them to choose how many of them they want to eat.

You are also removing yourself from any potential sentiments of limitation that could arise as a result of supper.

However, using neutral wording and avoiding putting sugar in a negative light is quite important in this situation!

You Get to Decide What the Dessert Is

Alternatively, one approach of dealing with dessert is to serve one portion of dessert to each person with their meal and then remove the rest of the dessert from the table altogether. If your youngster is still very distracted by dessert, it may be able to divert his or her focus away from it temporarily. Although not a type of limitation in and of itself, Using this strategy, it is also advised that you utilize snacks as an opportunity to provide endless amounts of a dessert to guests. A good illustration of this would be presenting only one piece of cake at a dinner and calling it a night.

Place a platter of cookies in front of your youngster and let him or her to choose how many to eat.

By eating supper, you are also removing any possible sentiments of limitation that may arise as a result of the experience.

However, using neutral wording and avoiding putting sugar in a negative light is quite important in this situation.

You Also Get to Decide When Dessert Is Served!

If you are not accustomed to eating dessert, there is no need to begin include it in every meal. Every day, or even every week! You do, however, want to find a method to include it into your daily routine. Make it a practice to go out for a meal every now and then during the day or on the weekend, and to include a visit to a restaurant that serves a dessert of your choosing. (Again, think of an ice cream shop as an example!) You may even bake cookies or cupcakes with them and then distribute them as a snack.

Don’t let your child end up as the youngster at a birthday party who has either been forbidden from eating the food everyone else has been enjoying or has been permitted to eat it but has made himself ill from consuming so many calories from it.

These people are already familiar with the notion. Nonetheless, cakes and candies have little influence over your child since they are aware that they can obtain them at home as well, and that they may acquire them whenever they genuinely desire them.

How to Deal with Kids Obsessing over Sugar

If you come from a household that does not indulge in sweets and you notice your child coming home demanding a certain sweet or becoming obsessed with something, there are a few things you can do to help them. The one I prescribe the most frequently is to temporarily increase your intake of sugary foods by a small percentage of your total caloric intake. You want to demonstrate to them once more that sweets are great, but they aren’t anything exceptional. Sometimes you’ll have them on a regular basis, and other times you won’t.

  • Once desserts have become a normal part of the dinner and you aren’t hearing as much about them, you may return to serving them on a more regular basis without feeling guilty.
  • This might be a couple of times during the week, or it can be done exclusively on weekends.
  • Others flourish in an environment with this type of structure.
  • And figuring out how to accomplish it will very certainly be a period of trial and error.

Serving Desserts When Not at Home

This manner of managing dessert is markedly different from the methods used by the majority of individuals in our culture. Furthermore, if you are dining at a restaurant or with other people, you may not be able to provide meals of this nature. If you are unable to do so for a certain meal, it is perfectly OK! Furthermore, it is acceptable to not carry out this activity on a regular basis at home! Your children will base their decisions on what they see most frequently at home, as well as how you regard sweets in general.

You will have taught them how to handle sugar even when it is not offered in the same way that it is at home, which is precisely what we want them to learn.

Serving Dessert This Way Works!

A significant departure from the way most individuals in our culture handle dessert is seen here. If you are eating at a restaurant or with other people, you may not be able to offer meals of this nature while you are there. If you are unable to do so for a certain meal, it is perfectly OK. Furthermore, it is acceptable to not carry out this activity on a regular basis at home. Your children will base their decisions on what they see most frequently at home, as well as how you regard sweets in general, when making decisions.

That is precisely our goal: you will have taught them how to deal with sugar even when it is not offered in the same way as it is at home.

Why Teaching Your Children Eating “Dessert Type Foods” is Okay!

This approach of managing dessert is markedly different from the one used by the majority of individuals in our culture. Furthermore, if you are at a restaurant or with other people, you may not be able to offer meals of this nature. If you are unable to accomplish this for a certain meal, it is also OK! It’s even fine if you don’t do this on a regular basis at home! You will find that your children will rely on what they see most frequently at home, as well as how you approach sweets in general.

There haven’t been a handful of anomalous occurrences. You will have taught them how to handle sugar even when it is not offered in the same way as it is at home, which is precisely what we want them to learn.

If this appeals to you, I would recommend:

In reality, it all starts with your child understanding that they have complete permission to consume these foods. As a parent, you should give them permission by serving them on a regular basis. What exactly does the term “regularly” mean? Every home will have its own set of guidelines, but there are no hard and fast rules regarding how frequently they should be served — it’s all about being adaptable. Days when your child may have more than one (think birthday parties, holidays, family trips, etc.) should be anticipated.

A youngster who is aware that certain meals will be available on a regular basis is far more likely to be calm when it comes to consuming them.

Experiment with Serving them with Meals

It is beneficial for children to understand that all foods are healthy to consume. If a youngster is able to examine all foods on an equal playing field, without any food prejudice, he or she will eat these foods and go on with ease to other foods. If you are having difficulty with this style of thinking, please see my blog post on Why Making Peace with Your Body and Food is Important for Your Children for more information. The most effective approach to accomplish this is to give them alongside a meal and let them to consume them in whichever order they want.

  • While it is true that at first your children will leap headfirst into the dessert and consume it, the more often you do it, the more calm they will get.
  • Every Sunday night, my family and I gather at my mother’s house for supper.
  • My daughter became aware of the items that her grandma possessed when she was about 18 months old.
  • When she initially started eating them, she ate every last bit of them before she ate her supper; but, as time went on, she began eating dinner first -or- alternated between eating dinner and M Ms on a regular basis.
  • She no longer even requests them anymore.
Be Flexible with How You Serve Them

Experiment with different ways of serving them. Serve them with meals or as a snack in between meals. Experiment with serving in infinite quantities and sometimes simply a smaller quantity with other meals to help you full up. Remember that your children will do their best when they believe they are eating enough of these sorts of meals – and what constitutes sufficient nutrition for them may vary from day to day. Making a genuine effort to hear and understand your kid, as well as educating them to listen to their body, is really vital.

Desserts, sometimes known as “junk food,” have earned a terrible name in our culture these days.

Teaching your children to handle all foods will give them the best opportunity of having a positive connection with them!

“I believe one of the themes that has been very useful for me is the concept of “normal” eating,” stated one of my participants recently in an email to me.

I was in the grocery store the other day and came across almond milk chocolate pudding and bought it.

She owned one and cherished it.

Prior to participating in this program, I would have said no.

She had a good time, and that was the end of it. She didn’t ask for any more the next day. Just a delightful encounter that didn’t culminate in a push and tug over food,” says the author.

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