Mini Treats

by Maria on March 17, 2014

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Life is just more complete with a little sweetness along the way. I have never been one who believes you need to shun sweets completely to be healthy. It’s all about balance and moderation.

My kids love dessert. What kid doesn’t? But to teach healthy habits from a young age we tend to alternate fruit nights (nature’s candy) with full on sugary sweets such as ice cream, cookies, or cake. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we have a streak of dessert nights, but that’s ok, as long as you keep the portions small.

Portion control is key to being able to enjoy a little sweetness after dinner while still keeping calories and health in check.   

I serve ice cream in these portion-perfect little bowls. They are one of my favorite finds and their small size keeps you from scooping out more than a ½ cup serving.  Sometimes we add toppings to these little ice creams—a dessert my kids and I have come to call “mini treats.” They are like ice cream sundaes, only in mini-form.

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In addition to keeping dessert portions small I have tried to teach my kids (and hubby) to eat slowly and savor every bite. Generally, a small amount will do the trick and satisfy your sweet craving. 

As for cookies, I often make just a small batch so that we won’t be tempted to eat until our bellies ache. Or I freeze extra dough in tablespoon portions that are ready to bake—this is a great way to be able to quickly cook up a few homemade cookies. And yes, I tend to make small cookies, that way you can have two or three instead of just one or two.

For special occasions, cupcakes are a favorite. I prefer to make my own cupcakes for many reasons, one of the reasons being that I can make them smallish and keep the frosting from taking over. If you have ever made frosting (lots of butter + lots of sugar) you know why it tastes so good, but also why a little goes a long way. On the occasion that we have bakery-bought jumbo cupcakes, we tend slice and serve halves.

So eat dessert. Keep portions in check. Slow down. Savor every bite. Serve fruit for dessert more often. And have fun with your mini creations! 

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