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those of you who regularly "do" dessert? or others with opinions?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

We have a 7 year old DD, and a 16 month-old DD.

 

Up until now, we've all had dinner together, then DH, DD1 & I have a little treat after DD2 has gone to bed.

 

This isn't working so well, for 2 reasons.  DD2 is going to bed later some nights, and I'd rather if we are having something sweetened, to have it WITH dinner (i.e. with protein).

 

However, if we eat it with dinner, even if I expend more effort to make sure it's always fruit based, wholegrain, lightly sweetened, etc., it means that DD2 is being exposed to dessert daily.

 

Separating them isn't really an option, it's a small, open house, and they are generally inseparable from when DD1 gets home from school until DD2 goes to bed.

 

Any ideas?

post #2 of 19
Why can't the 16 month child have a small portion? If it is fruit based, whole grain and lightly sweetened that seems fine to me.

Just noticied it not always like that. I still think a small portion of any thing you feel is fine to feed your older dd daily should be fine for the younger
post #3 of 19

Options as I see them are:

 

  • Just let DD2 have dessert daily
  • Reduce your desserts for the whole family to a few times a week or just weekends or something like that
  • Continue to do things to try to give everybody but DD2 dessert

 

Despite me being one of "those" people who think sugar is the devil incarnate, I think option 3 is the worst.

 

If your family is ok with desserts, why not let DD2 have it too? Of course you can restrict portion sizes appropriate for her age.

 

And if it really bothers you to give DD2 dessert... then maybe consider reducing it for everyone?

 

I know I didn't state anything but the obvious but hopefully it helps to have your options organized. I think option 1 or 2 are reasonable.


Edited by laohaire - 12/16/10 at 4:16pm
post #4 of 19

My DH and I struggled with this with our DS for a long time. We don't want our DS to eat sweets, dairy, or red meat, but we eat it. For the longest time he paid no attention to what we were eating, but now he knows when we have something we're not giving him, and he's not happy about it. When DS was about 18 months old I made a philosophical decision that if I don't want DS to have something, I won't eat it myself or keep it in the house.

 

We don't eat dessert very often, but when we do we share it with DS. And I've come to find out that things in moderation are not so terrible. He will eat a few bites of pie or ice cream after a full dinner and then run off and play. Today at the store the clerk offered him a cookie. This used to make me bristle with indignation, but today I just shrugged it off and gave DS the cookie. He ate it, quite joyfully, but did not ask for more.

 

I am happy because I think he is beginning to learn about moderation. I am being very careful now not to categorize foods as "good" or "bad." He LOVES vegetables and literally gets giddy over fresh fruit. He will eat brown rice, tofu, greens, fish and beans with relish.

 

However, we still do not give him (nor will we for a long time) candy, artificial colors and flavors, soda, juice, packaged junk food, fast food, etc. We don't really eat those things ourselves or keep them in the house.

post #5 of 19

I think it would make more sense to come up with an eating plan that you are comfortable with the whole family enjoying... whether that means healthier desserts or less frequent desserts, or just getting comfortable with the idea of giving your DD2 daily sweets.

 

We don't regularly/consistently eat a dessert... some weeks we won't have any dessert & some we'll have one nearly daily (like if we've recently baked something!) I'm comfortable with our 22mo eating a small portion of dessert, for him that means just a couple bites in proportion to his meals. It's nearly always healthy & usually has a good amount of protein as well, I'm hypoglycemic so I'm cautious about eating too much unbalanced sugar anyway. He has always eaten what we eat from the time he started solids, except for chocolate which we didn't allow more than tiny tastes of before age 1 due to the caffeine. It seems unfair to leave him out (likewise, DH does not consume animal products in the home because we are raising DS vegan, and DH & DS limit their gluten consumption since I am GF, and none of us eat artificial/refined stuff -- we try to make all meals & most snacks acceptable for the whole family). :)

post #6 of 19

We don't have dessert with dinner every day so I would lean heavily toward the option of just reducing the number of days you have dessert.

 

Could you offer your dd an alternate after dinner dessert/snack? Does she have to have the same thing everyone else has as long as she has something that is a treat to her too?

post #7 of 19

While I understand the desire to keep a baby away from sweets/sugar, I really don't think it is realistic when you have multiple children, unless you keep the entire family away from it.   I would say to either reduce the amt. of desserts you eat, or let the baby eat some too. 

post #8 of 19

I agree with the pp's.  Find something everyone can eat.  The diet of the family should be something appropriate for all, barring allergies and other medical restrictions.  If it's too unhealthy for a 16 month old, it's probably too unhealthy for you.  I don't agree with the "Do as I say, not as I do" attitude about anything, including food.

 

I only serve dessert when I am making a multi-course meal, which is a couple times a month.  Everyone gets to enjoy the dessert.  I think dessert every day is not healthy, anyway, even if it's fruit-based.  JMO.  Have plain fruit after dinner instead.

post #9 of 19

 

My first thought was that this is a time-limited problem. How long will your DD2 be eating differently from the rest of the family (if you are preparing and serving her baby food now) and how long are you intending to restrict her intake of sweets? In a few months won't she be eating the same food as the rest of the family anyway? Unless there are other health reasons that she needs a special diet and restricted sweets?

 

I agree with pp who say find things that everyone can enjoy or stop having dessert every day. If your DDs spend all their time together, it won't be long before your DD1 spills the beans and lets your DD2 know what she is missing.  

 

post #10 of 19

"Exposed to dessert" says a lot about where your thoughts are on this issue.  Personally I don't have a huge issue with desserts or without desserts, provided they fit into the whole meal plan - like either you're okay with 7 Oreos a week, or you're not and so you have something else like a crumble. What I find hard (having grown up this way) is when dessert is kind of allowed but is morally frowned on...it's not fair to kids to tell them something is really not good but here it is anyway on a basically daily basis, IMO. 

 

Although I admit we kind of do this with fast food - we'll have it occasionally, but explain it's not really healthy and it's more of a treat. So it's not like we have a pure food home. But to me I guess there is something different about "once in a while" and "habit."

 

Where we are - we have dessert once or twice a week (we have "Sunday sundaes" a fair amount).  Sometimes my 5 year old asks for a sweet after dinner on other nights (he's still working on his Hallowe'en candy, and is about 7 days behind on his advent calendar) and mostly we say yes.  I will admit to snacking after my kid's in bed, sometimes indulgently.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

I agree with the pp's.  Find something everyone can eat.  The diet of the family should be something appropriate for all, barring allergies and other medical restrictions.  If it's too unhealthy for a 16 month old, it's probably too unhealthy for you.  I don't agree with the "Do as I say, not as I do" attitude about anything, including food.

 

I only serve dessert when I am making a multi-course meal, which is a couple times a month.  Everyone gets to enjoy the dessert.  I think dessert every day is not healthy, anyway, even if it's fruit-based.  JMO.  Have plain fruit after dinner instead.


This is exactly how we handle things. thumb.gif

There are some foods that DH and I consume that the children can't have yet, like caffeinated things (tea, coffee) and to a very limited extent, alcohol. But mostly if I wouldn't let DS eat it, I probably shouldn't be eating it or giving it to DH either. I do bake a lot, especially around the holidays, but I use only fresh, organic ingredients, whole wheat flour, and when I do use sugar it's generally far, far less than the recipe calls for. I try to sweeten with applesauce, raw honey, or molasses when possible; when I can't use those, I use turbinado sugar sparingly. So even when we have dessert like carrot cake or cookies, I know that as an occasional treat (very occasional) it's fine, because the ingredients are as wholesome as they can be.

White flour, highly refined sugars, hydrogenated oils (shortening), colored/flavored icings...we do avoid those things entirely. I won't have them in my kitchen and my cardinal rule is that if I wouldn't bake it, DS can't eat it. But that doesn't mean we don't get to have dessert! If you don't want to cut out dessert entirely, maybe learn to make desserts that satisfy your sweet tooth but aren't too terribly unhealthy? It works for my family. eat.gif
post #12 of 19

I grew up not having desserts as part of the evening meal.  We had the option of having a snack in the evening.  It could be anything from ice cream or cookies to cheese and crackers to fruit or vegetables.  I did the same thing when our girls were children with the addition of having yogurt (we seldom have ice cream or cookies in the house).  Evening snacks were after 8 pm (dinner was/is at 6).  If you went to bed before then, you didn't get evening snack.  Now that it's only Dylan, we still do this.

 

Chris

post #13 of 19

I get a bit skeevy about letting certain family members have things others aren't allowed - assuming they're old enough to eat or drink it, of course. The only thing DD can't have that we have is DH's Coke (which he usually has with rum anyway) and alcohol (DH's again - I don't drink, so again it's not "her vs us" - although obviously even if it was, it'd still be a no-no!). DH does eat way too much chocolate squirreled away in his office, but at least that's his bad habit, not a family practice from which DD's banned.

 

So yes, eventually we decided DD was getting too much sugar, so we cut our desserts back. We were having it most nights - usually homemade ice cream, which I don't think is the epitome of evil as desserts go, but still has a lot of sugar. Now we have dessert... I dunno... less often. Once a week, definitely, when DH's best friend comes over - and usually on our "date night" (which DD attends, heh. In fact, date night is pretty much defined by having dessert. We're very boring people).

 

I wouldn't say it's my favourite solution, and DH still grumbles regularly that it doesn't feel "right" not to end the meal with something sweet - and no, he's not talking about a fresh piece of mango. But it seems better than giving DD lots of sugar, and fairer and less hypocritical than doing "her food our food".

post #14 of 19

We don't have dessert every night but we do probably 4 times a week. I have no problem saying that the baby can't have any (she's only 5 mos. now, but I'm pretty strongly anti-sweets for the under 2 crowd). We did the same when my middle child was little. My 8 and 5 yr. olds aren't allowed soda and sometimes we eat sweets or junk food that they aren't allowed to have. I tell them they can make their own choices when they grow up but for now it is up to us to make sure they eat a healthy diet. 

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the insights.

 

DH and I discussed it more.  During the week we will have things like fruit salad, warm peach slices with cinnamon, and the occasional (wholegrain, low sugar) baked fruit dessert.  Friday and Saturday nights we will have the option of something richer/sweeter: ice cream, homemade banana cake, etc.

 

DD1 has a very sweet tooth (as do I), and I want her to have some moderate outlet for it so she learns balance while the choices are still largely ours.  

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dahlialia View Post

Thanks for all the insights.

 

DH and I discussed it more.  During the week we will have things like fruit salad, warm peach slices with cinnamon, and the occasional (wholegrain, low sugar) baked fruit dessert.  Friday and Saturday nights we will have the option of something richer/sweeter: ice cream, homemade banana cake, etc.

 

DD1 has a very sweet tooth (as do I), and I want her to have some moderate outlet for it so she learns balance while the choices are still largely ours.  


Yum I'll come over for dessert at your house any day. :)

 

That sounds like a great compromise.

post #17 of 19

I have a 4.5 year old and she has dessert every night after dinner, something small - a fruit juice popsicle, a marshmallow, one piece of chocolate or one cookie, sometimes ice cream. It wasn't always this way, she got into dessert about a 1-1.5 years ago. We now have a DD2 who is 8 months. I imagine she'll start getting dessert once she is old enough to notice and throw a fit about it, but I'd love to hold out until she is 2.

post #18 of 19

great compromise OP. even i would love to come over to your house for dessert. 

 

you know this philosophy i had to discover earlier.

 

i started cheating when dd was 1. a tiny piece of chocolate here. a few sips of soda there. but she would always, always catch me. even if she woke two hours later to nurse she would always sniff my mouth. she was that sensitive. i could not handle it. guilt ate me alive. so i decided, if she cant have it then i cant eat it either. 

post #19 of 19

The way we look at it, is if the baby can't have it none of us can have it. It's just not worth the tears.  Now, DH and I often have dessert after both kids have gone to bed - they aren't getting our fancy chocolates! lol.  I try to avoid too much sweets and my son is definitely getting more than my DD ever did...but it's not that big of a deal.  Teach your kids good habits and make sure most of their food is healthy.

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