It’s the third month of the year — how’s everyone doing on your food resolutions? I confess, I’m not a big resolution maker — I’m more likely to start something new as spring approaches than in the depths of winter. But one thing I’ve been working on, since the holidays ended (well, except for Valentine’s Day) is pushing back on my son’s nightly candy/sweets habit. (You know, since Halloween. Sigh.) The boy is old enough now to understand the game rules: the one-bite rule has grown to at-least-three-bites of nearly everything, always something green, and he’s even eating salad without complaint most of the time. Still, I keep trying to rein back the treats, as I don’t believe kids need dessert every single night. So exasperated one night last week, when we’d already gone out for frozen yogurt after school, I told him his sugar-quota had already been reached and he could have fruit for dessert. And before he was two words into the predictable “but fruit is not a dessert” whine, inspiration struck: “How about if I cut up some fruit and you can make your own fruit sundaes?”
Honestly I was a little surprised that he stopped mid-whine and agreed to the suggestion. So I arranged some cut apples, bananas, blueberries and blackberries on a plate, gave them little glass bowls and let them mix their own creations. And they loved it! In the words of my six- year-old, “It’s a healthy dessert that tastes good and everyone can make it!” Score one for healthy alternatives.
Now if you wanted to gussy these up a little more, for a special occasion like, you know, random Thursdays off from school (seriously, why aren’t three-day weekends enough?) you could offer one or more of these additions:
- plain, Greek-style yogurt or unsweetened, vanilla-flavored whipped cream
- toasted coconut flakes
- a touch of honey or maple syrup
- pomegranate seed “sprinkles”
For bonus points, let kids help you chop the fruit with kid-safe knives. Bananas make an easy starter fruit for teaching toddlers safe knife practices.
What new food habits has your family adopted this year? How are they going?