Over the weekend, we made some gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. It always seems like a good idea initially; you get to bake together with the kids, cookies are awesome… but…cookies are AWESOME. In fact, they’re so awesome that they can easily put us into a dessert dilemma. The pitfall of baking is of course; being stuck with the baked goods at the end of it!
Luckily, I’m a terrible baker and baking isn’t a regular occurence in my home. But when it does happen, it doesn’t take long for my kids to recognize that cookies are in the house which always leads to: the “what’s for dessert?”; “when can we have dessert?”; “you’re giving us dessert tonight, right?” questions to bombard me after every meal until those delicious cookies are all gone.
How do you handle a situation like this? What are some boundaries that you can put in place for your kids so that dessert isn’t all-consuming?
In my home, I have to have a boundary in place. Most of us are abstainers, not moderators (meaning, we can’t just have a little, it’s all or nothing, out of the house is best).
I’ve gone back and forth with this technique in my own home because I find that when I’m not implementing it, desserts can easily become addicting and are expected after each meal.
I call it “The S Rule”. It’s a simple concept, one that is highly effective and is still very fair to members in your home, so here it is: In our home we have dessert only on the days that start with the letter ’S’. Saturday’s and Sunday’s.
Tips for Implementing The ‘S’ Rule
Give your kids a bit of time to adjust to this new rule surrounding dessert; especially if they’re accustomed to dessert each evening.⠀⠀
If your child is young, use a visual such as a calendar to explain when you eat desserts and talk to them about the importance of real whole foods and the difference between real food and treats.
This technique can help prevent a lot of ‘eat-reward-repeat’; which is an unhealthy behaviour that leads to over-eating, binge-eating and believing that food is a chore and rewards are given after finishing the task of eating.
To make the transition even easier and less upsetting, right after you finish your meal, when you would serve dessert, replace the dessert with a really fun family activity to re-direct and connect. Some examples would be a family game of hide-and-go-seek, depending on the season, a water gun fight outside, a snowball fight, playing a board game, creating something with arts and crafts, going to the park, rollerblading or simply walking the dog.
How do you approach dessert in your home?
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