So…speaking of ice cream…
…ever see a mom sitting nice and prim and proper at the ice cream shop, maybe sipping a bottle of water or a diet soda… while her kiddos consume gigantic bowls of ice cream the size of their heads?
I don’t want that to be me.
Long before we had children, my husband and I talked on numerous occasions about how we’d handle alcohol in front of our kids. I don’t know why that topic was of such interest to me…
…maybe it was having grown up in a small town in the deep south where many people only drank behind closed doors…maybe it was having had friends who were shocked to have “discovered” a stash of their parents’ liquor…maybe it was seeing some of those same friends experiment with alcohol in a very unhealthy way…
My hubby and I decided many years ago that we want our children to observe us enjoying the occasional glass of wine or beer in a responsible fashion. We want to show them what “moderation” is, and pray that we avoid the “forbidden fruit” syndrome that I think can lead some folks down the wrong path.
I think a similar approach can be applied to sweets.
We don’t eat dessert every night. Sometimes I make a fresh fruit cobbler, or occasionally I might even make a cake or a pie. When I do, I will offer the girls a small bowl, or let them share some of mine.
I don’t hold the dessert over their heads…”If you eat your vegetables, you can have some dessert.” I’m blessed to have good eaters (KNOCK ON WOOD), so I try to take a matter-of-fact approach to dessert. “Mommy made an apple pie. Would you like some?”
We go out for ice cream or yogurt about once a week. I will have a small bowl, as will each of the girls. As long as we eat relatively well and exercise somewhat regularly, it’s fine to have a little treat…no big deal.
I hope the girls will see that you can do a lot of fun things if you do them in moderation, and I hope that will lead to a healthy appreciation of lots of good stuff. And I hope they won’t feel like they have to seize a sacred opportunity to eat a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting.
(And I hope it’s a long time before they learn to open the freezer and find my secret stash of fro-yo that I *occasionally* get into after they’re in bed!)