Dessert Time

When I was little, dessert wasn’t part of our daily diet. During the week, whatever our nanny made for dinner, that is what we ate. On the weekends, our parents would take us to TGI Fridays, or Chevy’s Mexican, and we were always pretty stoked about it. On  Sunday nights, my father would cook us his “famous pasta” and we would help squish the tomatoes- it was the highlight of the weekend. But dessert was never really part of the meal, and we didn’t really ask for it. Occasionally my father took us to get “clown cones” from 31 Flavors {remember those?!} but that was the extent of it.

Once I became a nanny myself, I noticed how many children asked for, or sometimes demanded, dessert after dinner, and sometimes even after lunch. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe a four year old would eat a popsicle and a bowl of ice cream daily, it just seemed like so much sugar for such a little one. After a while, I noticed kids eating less of their proper meal because they were so obsessed with getting to their dessert. I knew I needed to try new tactics to replace all the sugary desserts they were inhaling with something more nutritious.

So I started “dressing” up fruit. I would scoop melon into small melon balls and toss a few sprinkles on top, or serve small pieces of frozen mango and tell them it was sorbet {close enough, right? and sure tastes like it!}, or mix together cut up bananas and strawberries in a bowel and add a dollop of whipped cream. And guess what- they loved it! Half of my success was presentation, the other was using fresh fruits and cutting them in a way that looked appetizing.

Instead of caving every time your child whines for ice cream or a popsicle, try presenting them with a bowl of fresh fruit with a fun topping and see what happens. Chances are, they will grow to love their new “dessert”.

~ Delighted Child


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