Should you give kids dessert with meals? - Curious Cub Club

Should you give kids dessert with meals?


There are many challenges with parenting and one of them can some with a cherry on top. Desserts. What to do about sweets & salty foods? When to give them to your kids? How much?

While a common parent answer to the dessert question has often been after you eat your vegetables, there are several reasons to change this response. First, if a child knows to get the dessert, they have to eat their veggies, they may overeat. Children have a great ability to self-regulate meaning they know when they are full and will stop eating. They don't need an empty plate to tell them. They are good at listening to their body. If a requirement to get a food is to eat more of another food, they could eat past their fullness signals and keep eating to get the other food.

Keeping dessert captive until other food is eaten, makes the dessert even more desirable. Making the dessert dependent on eating another food, sends a message to the child that this other food must be bad if I have to eat it to get this other yummy food. It puts dessert on a higher pedestal than the veggies. By having dessert served with the meal, it puts them on the same playing field.

You do not need to have dessert every day but if you are planning on having dessert, serve it with the meal. You can keep the dessert to one serving per person. A bonus is that this helps your child have a healthy relationship with food. They know how to incorporate desserts with other foods and you are giving them a skill for a lifetime.

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