Dessert after dinner?! What is your rule?!

Lynne - posted on 03/16/2011 ( 26 moms have responded )




My 10 and 6 yos have become obbsessed with dessert! Dessert used to be a treat after dinner and lunch, nothing big. They need to eat enough dinner to get dessert, like eating a little from each food group on their plate. Now it is have dessert or cry. If we are busy after dinner and they remember at bedtime, there is a melt down. If they didn't eat a fair portion of dinner. I do not make my kids clean their plates, I do not want them to overeat, but at the same time, the food served for dinner is more important than dessert. What is your rule for dessert?


Debi - posted on 03/19/2011




Mine are 12 & 15 now and its always been they get a after school snack (nothing sweet allowed) at 4 then at 6 we eat dinner they have never been allowed to eat anything before bed. They are only allowed to have sweets at Birthday parties and things like that no soda's or Tea at Home. They are old enough now and they still don't want those things they eat well and healthy all the time we save special things for special occasions :) good luck

Genia - posted on 03/19/2011




we don't do dessert at all. They don't need all that sugar. They have occasional treats which they can have if they've eaten something healthy (by treats I mean like a piece of candy, a fruit roll-up, some chips or cheese crackers, etc. - junk food). If your kids are acting like dessert is their be-all-end-all I would cut desserts out entirely for a couple weeks, then move to only having it on certain days.

Maggie - posted on 03/19/2011




Have them eat dinner at dinnertime. Do not associate dessert with the meal. Try pushing dessert back to about 30 minutes after dinner and don't use the "if you eat your dinner you'll get some dessert" - it kind of makes them think that dinner is a undesirable and dessert is a reward for doing it.
If they are so obsessed with dessert try making it a healthier one. Yogurt with fruit, trail mix, things like that. They're sweet but also pretty good for them.
As for the meltdowns - if you give in then they know screaming/crying/tantrums will get them what they want. Ignore the cries and get them in bed anyway. They will soon realize that you are in charge!

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Nicole - posted on 11/23/2012




I love to bake stuff or have sweet snacks in the house, but it's not something we do after dinner... (well, us adults do, after the kids are to bed, but that's what rocks about being an adult!)

IMHO, (and maybe it's just my ADHD daughter,) but all that sugar before bedtime seems to make it really difficult for kids to fall asleep!

We like to have our "desserts" before dinner, after she gets home from school... so if I have something that I just baked, it's usually that... otherwise, I like to give her some chips or whatever snack we have around & Kefir, a yogurt smoothie - type drink.

Apparently, despite its sugar content, Kefir is really good for kids with ADHD.

Lady Heather - posted on 06/27/2011




We only have dessert (other than fruit) once a week max. Usually that's on Sunday when we go to my dad's for dinner. I make something and bring it with us. I think that makes it more of a special thing rather than an expected thing and it's always homemade. Bonus is that we get to bake something together!

Every once in a while we'll make a batch of cookies (from a health food magazine recipe...hehe) and those go in the freezer. I give my daughter (2) half a cookie sometimes when we have afternoon tea. Not an everyday thing, just for fun sometimes.

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We rarely do dessert. The boys are fine, but my dh and I could stand to loose a few pounds. We don't need junk around.

When we do have dessert, it is a rare treat. The more often we have it, the more the boys seem to expect it, so we cut back to avoid that expectation as well.

On the other hand, anything my boys pitch a fit for, I scale WAY back on. This goes for candy, desserts, t.v., video games... anything. I will NOT give them something that they pitch a fit for. :)

M. Rose - posted on 03/22/2011




truly dessert should be a treat and no necessarily given with each dinner. I would do dessert only once or twice a week and leave it at that. Honestly, we only have dessert when we have guests, on special occasions or when momma has a sweet tooth lol. I do make snacks for everyone every other week or so (usually healthy but sweet stuff like granola or smoothies, etc.). Candy is a rare event also.

Talea - posted on 03/22/2011




I'm sorry if they don't have room for the food on their plate then they don't have room for dessert. That's what I tell my kiddos.

Jane - posted on 03/21/2011




They had to eat at least two bites of everything on their plate or no dessert. Dessert was usually fruit or jello with fruit, but sometimes we worked together to make cookies or brownies, and so that would be dessert that night.

My parents were both children of the Depression so we had to clean our plates. I feel that contributed to my inability to stop eating when I am full so I do not force the kids to eat everything on their plates, with one exception. If they serve themselves they have to eat the whole serving.

My son has a problem with eyes much too big for his stomach so we used this as a way to get him to learn how much he really could eat. We also reminded him that if he wanted more of something he could always have seconds, but the two bite rule still pertained.

Allie - posted on 03/21/2011




If we have something in the house (or my husband and I discuss going out to get icecream) and he eats whats on his plate he can have some, but we only do dessert after dinner.... and I don't typically have anything for dessert so it's always a special treat so my son never expects it.

Wendy - posted on 03/21/2011




If when we know that they ate almost everything on there plate & they tried, then they do get dessert!

Stifler's - posted on 03/20/2011




We hardly ever even eat dessert. But I'd make them eat at least a spoonful of everything on their plate before dinner is over regardless of whether there's dessert or not. And if you don't serve dessert they can get over it lol.

Erica - posted on 03/19/2011




My husband and I tell I kids they must eat all their food in order to get dessert whenever we do have dessert, but that's only on Sunday nights when I cook a big meal. Every other Sunday my mom, older sister and I take turns making Sunday dinner, so dessert are made for that. Sometimes If they have a certain vegetable they don't particularly like I'll tell them to eat everything else and only half of that certain thing. I limit there snacking and juice intake during the day so that they will eat all of their dinner. We give them milk at dinner time or water. This way I don't have to worry about them guzzling down their drinks so that they get full and can't finish their dinner. Any other night of the week they normally get a snack an hour or two after dinner but it's usually fruit, yogurt, or a granola bar.

Audrey - posted on 03/19/2011




mine are only 3 years and 18 months but we basically have the same rule as you. however, if they throw a fit over getting dessert, i wouldnt give them any. we dont have dessert everyday, just occasionally. in our house dessert is for eating a resonable amount of your regular food, and for being good and not whinning.

Louise - posted on 03/19/2011




We don't eat dessert as a rule unless we have people around for dinner. I did however bake a cake or make cookies one day in the week which they can have after dinner no matter how much they ate, when my sons were small. If they asked for food after dinner it was fruit or yoghurt.

Luckily my daughter loves her food and prefers fruit to biscuits so far.

Erin - posted on 03/19/2011




my kids have to eat all there dinner before getting any desserts we live by the rule as if your not hungry enough to eat dinner or finish dinner your not hungry enough for dessert or anything else when the kids first started with the rule they didn't like it but they got use to it after a while. My niece lives by the rule in her house that she eat what she wants with dinner and laer always compains that she hungry and her mother will always grab her something to eat just before bed and from what i've seen my niece has learnt that she now only has to eat a couple of spoon fulls and say she had enough and get something later. I say stand your ground and your kids will soon learn that they have to eat before dessert good luck

Tameka - posted on 03/19/2011




I make sure that I give age appropriate portions to my girls (4yrs and 14months). If they eat their dinner quickly, clearly they are hungry and I insist they have more before any treats. I don't give my youngest anything high in sugar/salt/fats simply because I think she's too young. Her treats are usually a special fruit (blueberries, grapes) that only get eaten as a treat. They have enough sugar in them to keep her happy anyway. As for my eldest it depends on the treat. For her to get ice cream is a really big deal. I often make my own fruit ice blocks so these are classed as treats to her and are gobbled up. Little does she know that there is hardly any "sugary goodness" in them!! hehe.

Amber - posted on 03/18/2011




well, you said that you do not want them to over eat and you agree that dinner is more important than dessert, right? well how about they do not have to eat all their food if they are full, but if you are having a melt down over dessert, then obviously you did are still hungry and could have eaten all your food. i am the same way, i do not want mine to over eat, but i do watch their portions and give them appropriatly. as far as dessrt or a snack after dinner, if you did not eat all your food, you do not get a snack. as far as melt downs, that is a whole different issue. my 4yr old twins have unsuccessfully been trying melt downs and being consistant is working. anytime we have a meltdown, whatever they wanted is out of the question. and then we move on and do not give it anymore attention.
kids are so funny just to sit back and watch their minds work....

Kristine - posted on 03/18/2011




desserts are truley treats in my house. maybe once a week or so after dinner. sometimes they get a small candy (think halloween candy) after lunch if they have been good and listening well all morning. I like to use the small candies as suprises for them instead of desserts. like if they clean their rooms the first time I ask, or behave really well at a dr. appointment. this is not bribery, they don't know when I'll say thanks for being so good and give them one.

Andrea - posted on 03/16/2011




Like you eat a decent amount of dinner and behave nicely at the table. But with the meltdowns, the second the nagging starts I would be putting them straight to bed. No shower, or bedtime story, brush teeth and down you go!

Michelle - posted on 03/16/2011




Not dessert until dinner is eaten. I don't give them huge portions so there is no reason for them not to eat it all. My boys (9&7) know that if they don't eat dinner they don't get dessert. I have never had arguements over it either.

Theresa - posted on 03/16/2011




My kids have to eat well before they can have dessert to. I keep their hollowen bucket on top of the fridge year round, any candy they get goes into that (from Easter, Christmas stocking, halloween, etc), I take it down after dinner ifthey've eaten well and they get to pick one thing from it. My rule is either dessert OR bedtime snakc, not both. Either way it's one thing from the candy bucket. (Unless it's something small like M&Ms, then they get a small handful.)

Heather - posted on 03/16/2011




My daughters dessert is always fruit and she doesn't get it if she doesn't eat her dinner well. Good luck!

Bonnie - posted on 03/16/2011




We usually don't do dessert. They do get a snack before bed, but it has to be fruit.

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