I get this question a lot. And by 'a lot' I mean A.LOT. I sometimes think that my kids are hummingbirds, capable of subsisting on nothing but sugar. One Saturday morning my husband and I made the mistake of sleeping in, giving the kids permission to watch Finding Dory on Netflix. We came downstairs to find them eating chocolate chips for breakfast. Lesson learned.
Just last week, after setting a beautifully prepared, home-cooked, warm chicken salad and freshly baked bread down on the table, the first thing I was asked when everyone sat down to eat was "What's for dessert?"
It drives me crazy.
But I also understand it. As a child I would collect bottles discard along the roadside in the half-mile stretch between my house and the corner store so I could return them for the $0.05 deposit and buy bags full of penny candy. And I still have to resist calling a scone breakfast. So, maybe their penchant for sugar comes from somewhere a little close to home.
But now I know better. I know, for example, how hard it is to resist calling a scone breakfast and I want my kids to create healthy habits instead of having to break bad ones. Plus, I hate the idea that they are just eating dinner to get to the thing they really want: sugar, with some added sugar, and a little sugar on top.
So when it comes to the dessert question I work hard to balance their intense desire to ingest sugar with my intense desire to reasonably limit their access to it.
As a solution, we've started having rotating dessert nights. Dessert night, fruit night, nothing night. Dessert night, fruit night, nothing night.
I think that this will help teach them that we don't need dessert everynight and that something like fruit can be a very lovely after dinner sweet treat and that sometimes, we just don't have anything to eat after we've already eaten.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!