I was wondering recently whether to introduce puddings on a regular basis. At the moment, they are definitely treats and few and far between. I recall reading in some parenting book or magazine that it’s good to have a (reasonably healthy) pudding and to offer it without any conditions – so, no withholding pudding if dinner is not eaten – because it provides a wider variety of nutrients and the opportunity to get more food into the child if they don’t eat much of their dinner.
But we’re not really pudding people. Well, that’s not entirely true. If I go to restaurant, you won’t catch me refusing to see the dessert menu and more often than not you’ll hear me asking for it the second my plate is whisked from the table. I rarely go without dessert when out. And I will always have one (or more) for special occasions. On a daily basis, though, desserts, puddings and chocolate tend to be reserved for the evening and are usually a special grown-up treat, rather than a regular thing.
We did end up going through a stage where Rosemary was expecting ice cream at the end of every meal. Where she would ask how many spoonfuls of dinner she would have to eat in order to get ice cream. So we stopped giving ice cream, in the hope that she would just eat her dinner, with no expectations of treats of any kind (it mostly worked, though her desires for ice cream do surface on occasion). We definitely don’t want to go back to that.
What I’m thinking about are fruit-based puddings, like apple crumble, fruit pie, fruit jelly (made with fruit juice and agar agar flakes) and even just fruit salad. I’d have to tone down the amount of sugar I put in my crumbles, though. And maybe some other puddings that could count as reasonably healthy, though I can’t think of any that wouldn’t have to have fruit in to be considered healthy!
I am talking home-made here, too, not defrosting a Sara Lee gateau (which would be no good for me, anyway, as they all have gelatine in), though I do realise that home-made doesn’t always equate directly to healthier. So, it would add some extra work in for us. A lot of puddings would be things that Rosemary could help make, though, which is usually fun and has a whole bunch of other benefits, too.
Is this a good idea or a really stupid one? Do you have regular puddings or are they reserved for special occasions? Does pudding come with the proviso that the main course must be finished? And, in fact, do you have other courses, too? A salad starter, for example, or cheese board or something? Would it just lead to us all becoming obesity statistics? And can you recommend any reasonably easy and healthy puddings?