Dessert Before Dinner

            Dessert Before Dinner

By saying YES to ice cream before dinner, we can say YES to life, YES to joy, and YES to abundance!


Yesterday evening my children asked me to have ice cream at 6:00pm. The Oldest One’s guitar teacher was on his way over and I was getting ready to fix dinner so that we could eat around 6:45 after his lesson was over. My first inclination was to say no. We can wait to have ice cream for dessert, after we had eaten our healthy food first. The boys stepped up their requests and added, “Please Mom! Just this once!” And it occurred to me… What is the big deal about waiting until after dinner (sugar soon before bed) to eat a sweet treat? Does it have that much effect on how much other food they will eat an hour later? What is the ultimate difference in eating ice cream instead of say, a chocolate and peanut butter granola bar, which I would have had no problem with them eating at that moment. Would the joy they would experience at this novelty and the feeling of me being “with them, not against them” outweigh any consequences of eating dessert before dinner? And by teaching them to wait to “suffer” through the healthy stuff to get to the good stuff, am I teaching them that eating healthy is a horrible thing to endure before getting to the sugar-laden treat?Within the 30 seconds it took for all of these questions to swirl in my head, I decided to say YES to life, to say YES to abundance, and say YES to dessert before dinner. The results were beautiful to behold. They shrieked in delight as I spooned the ice cream into their bowls. They proudly showed the guitar teacher has he entered our home and shared their good fortune with a big smile on their faces. The Youngest One asked me to help him finish a dinosaur jigsaw puzzle he had been working on earlier that day and we sat down together, ice cream in hand, to complete the task. They both willingly asked to help clear and set the table for dinner, something that isn’t normally part of their responsibilities. And as for that healthy food?  They ate up a normal amount for each of them, both tasting their baked potatoes, eating their salmon and all of their broccoli. After dinner, it was an hour of creative pretend play outside while I read a magazine on the patio. Pure magic.

When thinking about what transpired with one little YES to life, it occurred to me that I was not only saying yes to dessert before dinner, I was also saying yes to them trusting their own bodies and what they needed and wanted. I was saying yes to embracing joy and spontaneity and flexibility. I was saying yes indeed, ice cream and vegetables are both part of our diet and one doesn’t have to be a reward over the other. And ultimately, I was saying YES to abundance. We do not need to live in a world of scarcity, where there is only a certain amount of food you can fit in your tummy so you better make it count. In the world we live in, there is room for broccoli and ice cream. There is enough for everyone, so no need to hoard, block, compare, or compete. Although we probably will not be eating dessert before dinner every night, the lessons learned from this experience were too sweet to refuse.

This article originally was posted by the author on May 20, 2013 at



About Amber Sparks

Amber Sparks is a homeschooling mama to two boys and a Mommy/Baby and Family Yoga teacher. She often eats ice cream … and sometimes broccoli … while blogging at