Okay, I don’t usually dole out unsolicited parenting advice, but this one goes so far toward the “low stress” part of our plan, that I am going to throw it out in to the world. Here goes:
Sometimes, when your kids ask if they can have ice cream for dinner, just say, “Yes.” Really. Mind you, not ALWAYS, but I really feel it’s fine, once in a while. There are ways to make it a slightly less unhealthy choice. We like Trader Joe’s Frozen Vanilla Fat Free Greek Yogurt. As Kaia says, “It’s a little more sour that regular ice cream, but it just…works.” It also contains more protein than ice cream, as well as some active cultures, so that’s awesome, from a health standpoint. Offer toppings like fruit (we had bananas and cherries tonight), natural peanut butter, graham crackers, granola, and nuts, as well as a few chocolate chips, and maybe a little chocolate sauce. They can use the graham crackers to make “ice cream sandwiches,” crumble them into the ice cream, or eat them on the side.
Tonight, Kaia made an ice cream sandwich by spreading graham crackers with peanut butter, then adding a few chocolate chips and some frozen yogurt. She had a banana on the side. Justice topped the ice cream in her bowl with peanut butter, chocolate sauce, walnuts and sliced bananas (not sure if she used the graham crackers at all). Hallie made a banana split with cherries, nuts and chocolate chips on top.
This isn’t a new idea. About once a year, in the Fall, my mom used to make apple pie for dinner. I loved it. Warm apple pie with milk poured over it ~ yum! And look, it’s apples, bread (crust…yeah, I know, it’s greasy), milk. I mean, it’s not that bad. Think of Bill Cosby and his chocolate cake. (If you don’t know about Bill Cosby and his chocolate cake, go straight to YouTube and search “Bill Cosby Chocolate Cake.”) Once in a while, embrace the silly, be that parent who says, “Yes,” and put those smiles in the bank, so you can withdraw them from your vault on a tough parenting day.
Sure, there’s a lot of sugar, but, if you don’t serve it at every meal, every day, and you make healthy food choices most of the time, I see no reason not to let them eat cake…or pie…or ice cream.
At out house right now, bellies are full and everyone’s happy ~ and that is absolutely priceless on a Friday night, at the end of a very hectic week.