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Desserts should be part of your child’s dinner
Mmm…… you’ve just polished off a scrumptious dinner.
It was pretty healthy.
There was chicken, potato and an assortment of vegetables. Truth be told, you’re FULL. But, you walked passed the dessert table on the way to the loo.
And……… it’s full of delicacies.
You’re FULL, but skipping such a wonderful dessert, is ludicrous. You delay a few minutes, giving “dinner” time to move on through. Grab your plate and start filling it………….you add
- a chocolate éclair or two
- a very large spoon of chocolate mousse
- a slice of strawberry cheesecake
- a piece of lemon meringue pie etc.
You head back to the table and begin FEASTING.
Dessert – it is the best part of any meal.
You’re not the only one who thinks like this – so does your three year old.
This is what a group of researchers from Purdue University discovered, when they served dinner and dessert, to kids at the University’s Child Care Centre.
23 healthy little ones, between the ages of 2 and 5 years, were signed up for the study, which was quite an undertaking. At the end of the day, the study involved 368 eating occasions.
The team created 4 different eating “occasions” and each child experienced the “occasion” 4 times.
Every “occasion” included dessert !
But, portion size and dessert timing, was mixed and matched, so
- On occasion 1 : a regular portion of lunch was served, followed by dessert
- On occasion 2 : a regular portion of lunch was served, with dessert
- On occasion 3 : the portion size of lunch was doubled, with dessert being served afterwards
- On occasion 4 : the portion size of lunch was doubled and dessert was served alongside the lunch
NOTE : Portion size was adjusted to take into consideration the age of the child.
Lunches were served as usual……………
Which meant, the kids got fish on Thursday and pasta on Friday, along with their milk and COOKIE, dessert.
The team waited for the dishes to arrive back from the individual classrooms and then the tallying up began. They measured the amount of food still on the plate……………and used this to calculate total food intake.
I LOVE dessert
The team found, the kids ALWAYS had room for dessert. ALWAYS.
The portion size of lunch, made very little difference to the amount of dessert consumed. Suggesting, dessert was being eaten because it TASTED good, not because the child was hungry.
But kids can regulate their food consumption, when …….
Dessert is dinner
Serving the dessert, along with the main meal, did cut overall food intake. Of course, less fish and pasta ended up being eaten.
But, overall calorie consumption was lower.
And…………… at the end of the day, eating excess calories, is the beginning of weight troubles.
Full is full
We’re biologically wired to prefer food’s high in sugar and fat. Saying NO to dessert, even when you’re as full as a tick – is a challenge.
A BIG challenge.
When you’re thirty something, the logical parts of your brain can attempt to intervene……
THINK OF THE CONSEQUENCES
Indulging in that piece of lemon meringue pie will make you FAT. And, you’ll probably have indigestion – there is no room for it.
Of course, logic might not win, even when you’re a grown up.
But, when you’re three, there is not much chance of you, considering the consequences of your indulgence.
And………… your brain learns something else.
Full has wiggle room.
Which sets you up to indulge on a regular basis. Oh dear !
Serve it ALL
Help your little one, manage calories in……..
If dessert is going to be part of your little one’s dinner, don’t save it for later – serve everything together. And, if possible, “doctor” the dessert, to maximize nutritional value. After all, it’s going to be eaten.
Scientists believe the magic happened because, in the moonlight the spoon took on a different colour, making it more attractive.
It’s got nothing to do with dietary habits, meal time routines, frequency of family meals, time spent watching TV or physical activity, the problem is….
Your brain is not the only organ weighing in on culinary decisions, your tongue’s preferences impact too. So what does the tongue like ? Soft and smooth, please