Okay, get ready for an opinion here- I think I’m finally ready to weigh in on this one…
I think that it’s totally fine to use dessert as a bribe.
You still with me here? See, the thing is- I try my hardest to be really low key about food with the girls. I feel in my heart of hearts that they will learn to trust their own bodies- to eat when they’re hungry, stop when they’re full, and eat food that is pleasing and good to them. I think that these skills will come to them through being left alone when it comes to food and through seeing that I trust that they can make their own decisions. I would never, ever force my kid to eat something that she didn’t want to eat.
etc. etc. etc.
It also must be said, however, that I’m not entirely sure how good it is to go three months without eating a vegetable. I don’t know if cheese sticks and goldfish are really all one should ever eat, and I really need to get some fiber into that little worried tummy aching girl of mine. So- whenever the inspiration strikes, I jump on it and I make dessert. When there is a dessert waiting in the wings of the kitchen, dinner takes a very different turn. Instead of a meowing child under the table claiming that she isn’t hungry, there is a girl eating salad. Instead of a whining girl who spits out her food on her plate, there is a girl who is very enthusiastic about kale.
And it doesn’t stop there. Then there are pajamas put on without complaint, there are pees to be had, hands washed. And then, there is dessert. And everyone is happy.
Not bad, I think. Although Alfie Kohn would have my hide.
Today we found a lot of black raspberries in the yard- a joyful huge amount. And we all picked them without eating a single one after I made the promise of a fruit tart.
Here’s how it came together:
I used David Lebovitz’s fabulous non roll-out tart dough, baked it and let it cool.
Then I threw an 8 oz. block of softened cream cheese into the blender, along with 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 T vanilla extract. That went into the cooled shell, then into the fridge for 30 minutes. Then I arranged the berries and peaches, and topped it with a glaze of about 2 T strawberry jam and 1 tsp kirsch that I had heated up to liquify.
Easy peasy. And an excellent tool for bribery.