Dessert, to give or not to give?

Carrie - posted on 01/05/2012 ( 19 moms have responded )




I give my girls dessert almost every night. Not anything big but a cookie or pudding or something, but now I am wondering if it is becoming a habit and if I should stop. I have at 5 and 3 year old and I had an eating disorder in high school and do not want my girls to but I also don't want them to be overweight. The 5 year old loves to play outside and ride her bike but the 3 year old is more of a home body, likes to read and do puzzles so I am a little concerned. They have always been in the 90% of height to weight, but they both are very tall for their ages.
Any helpful advice?


Jill - posted on 01/16/2012




we dont do dessert. my kids get quite a bit of sweets during the day though. i'm always trying to limit their treats to 2 a day but they dont normally get them after dinner. my 8 year old cannot have chocolate after 7pm or she wont go to bed on time. they are very active, they eat their veggies and love their fruit. so as long as your children are getting the healthy servings they need every day, there's nothing wrong with giving them sweets. as soon as you start depriving them of it, they'll just want it more. so if it works for you, why not? if it starts getting out of hand, however, then you can make some changes.

Denikka - posted on 01/05/2012




Well, when I was young, I had dessert every single night. Usually fruit. Canned peaches, or some sort of fresh fruit or homemade fruit salad. Every once in a while, we'd have something special like rice pudding, bread pudding, apple crumble (all home made) and rarely we would have something like icecream or jello or something like that.

I think that you can offer a healthy dessert and have it be just as yummy as pudding or cookies. :)


View replies by

Carrie - posted on 01/26/2012




Thank you ladies.. I have been letting the girls have their dessert but offering smaller portions and doing the fruit with some lite whipped cream, pudding, frozen yogurt, etc.

I brought home a piece of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory the other day (which I never do) and the girls have had it twice for dessert and there is still half a piece left. i give them a fork full and they are fine with it. I am going to try not to focus on their bodies so much.

User - posted on 01/21/2012




We used to have dessert maybe once or twice a week, but I've been ill and my mom is staying with us to help out. Since she's been here, my SD has begun asking for dessert every night, which isn't a big deal because usually it's something small, but lately as she's eating if she thinks we're not listening, she'll tell my mom she's going to have seconds after she finishes the first dessert, and I put the kabash on that. She is not overweight at all, but we still try to feed her a healthy diet as much as possible. (I think it's a tricky topic...I got reamed one time when we had made a pie and then she refused to eat any "real" food at dinner so I told her if she didn't want to eat that's fine, but she would not get pie if she didn't eat dinner. She agreed, and then threw a tantrum when I didn't let her have pie. My in laws were there and I felt like the wicked stepmother but thought I should follow through with the deal we'd made.)

Julie - posted on 01/19/2012




Dessert each evening is fine ... watch portions.

Kids are cherubs and should look like cherubs and not models -

♥ Sounds like you're a good mommie - let them be children and look like children as they only pass that way once!

Suzanne - posted on 01/15/2012




i think it teaches children moderation, and a healthy diet has everything in moderation.

Krystle - posted on 01/12/2012




my children eat desert every night, sometimes its something sweet and sometimes fruit salad or a piece of fruit.. none of them are over weight at all

Candice - posted on 01/12/2012




I think it is fine to give dessert but that also depends on how late dinner is. I don't allow my 9 year soda or junk food during the day. He is very active and if he eats his dinner and wants dessert I give it to him. He likes ice cream :)

Jenna - posted on 01/10/2012




I always had dessert growing up. Some nights it made dinner worth eating. We give our kids dessert MOST of the time. Some nights we don't just because we don't have anything for it or we just don't feel like giving them anything. We've told them that dessert is a fun thing but not to expect it every time. Usually it's something small, like a cookie or brownie, but for nice meals, like a Sunday dinner or one where we invite guests, we'll have something special, like pie or mousse. I think having something small regularly won't lead to an eating disorder or weight problems; rather it will teach them that they can indulge in small quantities and still be healthy.

Carrie - posted on 01/10/2012




Thank you ladies.. i definitely like the waiting 30 minute rule and pudding and fruit with dip ideas. @Teresa, my 5 year old eats blueberries like crazy.. i buy the huge container from Trader Joes and it is usually gone after 3-4 days.

Carrie - posted on 01/10/2012




my mom and dad let the girls eat whatever they want at their house too.. glad they are only there once a month or so.. lol

Lisa - posted on 01/09/2012




Not every dessert has to be super unhealthy. Puddings made with milk are a good idea. Fruits, whatever is in season with a bit of whip cream or vanilla yougurt to dip in is one of my kids favorite things. Fruit salad can me made from the bargain last chance fruits you get for a wonderful price. Even cookies can have fruit and nuts etc. Be creative and make some healthy options, that way dessert can be every night. :D

Tammy - posted on 01/09/2012




I don't see what's wrong with giving dessert every night. I think it's a nice treat that the kids can look forward to, especially if they aren't too fond of what you made for dinner on any given night. Try to make the desserts healthy, such as gluten-free cake, or sugarless apple pie and make sure you don't give too much.

Janet - posted on 01/08/2012




When I was a kid we had dessert every night, but we had to wait 30 minutes after we ate so we weren't just gobbling up our food to get dessert. I try to use this with my kids as well, but sometimes they have a lot of sweeter things during the day and we don't always have dessert. When we do, the 30 minute rule still applies (and I use a timer so they can hear the beep instead of asking me 80 million times if its been 30 minutes!)

Fruit is nature's candy - its generally why its the first thing babies will eat! The folks with the ideas on healthy snacks have a great idea!

Another thing to keep in mind is, how is it affecting your children. How are their teeth? Good? They brush regularly? They're not bouncing off the walls at bedtime or completely lethargic during the daytime? If all of that is good, then I'd say keep up the good work!

[deleted account]

We have a sweet treat pretty much every day... sometimes more than one. Growing up we had 'dessert night' twice a week and I hated that our sweets were restricted. I do restrict junk somewhat w/ my own kids, but not too much. We talk about what foods keep your body healthy and what foods are just eaten for the taste w/ no nutritional value and the various things that can happen if you eat too much junk.

I have three very active, healthy kids that pretty much never stop eating no matter what the food is. ;) As for fruit.... yesterday my 3 year old ate FIVE mini oranges..... That boy would eat nothing but fruit all day long if I'd let him. lol

Crystal - posted on 01/07/2012




My kids are around the same ages as yours..mine are 6 & 4. They love dessert. Neither of them is overweight, and are both tall for their ages too. We worry about them being overweight because both their Dad and I are. We try and only do dessert on special occasions or holidays...but when they go to Grandma & Grandpa's they get whatever they want (I hate it!). I think in moderation is ok, as long as teeth brushing follows and they eat balanced meals. If you think it'll get out of control, I would definitely cut back soon..the older they get, the harder it will be to stop them especially when they're use to it! :)

Bonnie - posted on 01/06/2012




If it is something small like a pudding or a cookie as you have said, I don't think you need to worry. On the other hand if it was donuts and chocolate cake every night, then yes, I probably would be. My boys only have dessert the odd time, otherwise they get fruit an hour or two after dinner time which is shortly before bed.

Carrie - posted on 01/05/2012




Is there such a thing as too much fruit? My 5 year old will eat fruit with every meal if she could so I think she feels it isn't a "special" treat for dessert. Maybe a fruit salad because it is different from the norm. Thank you

[deleted account]

When I was a child, food was very scarce and dessert was something we got only on holidays or birthdays, I consider it a luxury now and thus only indulge when there is an occasion or as a special treat.

I do agree with Denikka though, if you make it healthy, there is no harm in serving it every night--really almost any fruit can serve as dessert and they are all somewhat healthy, for the most part.

I have an eating disorder too--congrats on beating yours, I don't think I ever will, but I do have it under control. I don't think that whether or not you serve dessert will give them a disorder, but rather your attitude toward food in general. Just remember that food is not a "reward" nor a "punishment" it is just a part of life to be enjoyed, much like a hot shower or bubble bath--a necessity that can also be a pleasure.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms