Yes, They Are Having Candy for Dinner- So What Of It?

Cross posted at

My kids ate popsicles, orange and red to be exact, for breakfast this morning.

Today, about an hour before dinner, they asked for Twinkies while I was cooking. I said “sure, go for it.”

I’m a slacker Mom when it comes to food and I don’t really care who knows it. Ok that’s not entirely true. I care that my husband knows it, because it horrifies him. In fact, I think he stuffs them full of nothing but veggies and fruit on the weekend just to make up for my week filled with junk and meals that aren’t really meals.

I think appetizers are meals. I’m also ok with with those meals that start with ‘Happy’ … I know, I know.

But total truth be told, despite mornings of sugary cereal and lunches that may or may not end in ‘able’ they also eat well. My kids will eat sushi. They eat mussels and clams and slimy things a lot of other kids won’t touch. They will try anything and everything in the name of ‘adventure’ and that makes me proud.

Why? Because I try very hard not to make food an ‘issue.’ They aren’t those kids in the corner who’s only ever had one piece of candy and FREAKS OUT with excitement at a birthday party. Having an ice cream is a ‘treat’ but it isn’t the be all and end all of their day.

They also tend to eat in front of the tv. More than a lot. *gasp*. But hey, even Mocha Momma’s family agrees those sit down dinners aren’t all they are cracked up to be:

Don’t eat with your mouth full of food.

Jesus would think that eating with a mouthful is gross.

Yeah, what would Jesus do with a mouthful of food?

Jesus wouldn’t be mad about that.

No! Jesus would DO that!

Jesus wouldn’t eat with his mouthful. Can’t you hear his mother right now? “Jesus! Close your mouth!”

I think Jesus would want ice cream. Maybe a McFlurry.

For dessert? Oh, for sure. Jesus was all about the McFlurry.

You know, The Last Supper would have required some dessert. Can you imagine that Passover meal? I mean, seriously. Bland, boring food.

What did they eat at The Last Supper?

Unleavened bread. Bitter herbs. All that stuff with cut up apples and raisins. Right? Yuck. Jesus would need a McFlurry to wash away that grossness.”

I mean, there are even moms playing games at the dinner table. So I don’t feel so bad. Location isn’t everything. But I will admit nutrition is important.

My son will choose a mango over a sucker 50% of the time. My daughter eats broccoli raw, straight out of the garden.

But they both also had pizza rolls and twizzlers for lunch. Then again, we had a dinner of whole wheat pasta and turkey meatballs.

It’s all about balance. And moderation. And making food fun and NON serious.

One of my favorite dinner time , light hearted stories comes from Chris at Notes from the Trenches:

“Me: So if you could only have five foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Ice cream!
Ice cream!

But, wait a minute, if we had the ingredients tomake those foods couldn’t we make them into different foods instead?


But why?

Because it is my rules and I say no. Only five already prepared foods.

But how would we get them?

Sheesh, I don’t know. They would fall from the sky like manna, okay?


Just go with it, ok?


Okay, but technically those aren’t foods.

Spaghetti and meatballs.
NY Strip Steak, medium.

Now we are talking.

10 yr old: Brussel Sprouts.

At which point we all turn to look at him, the room falls silent.

Who are you? I ask.

We all laugh.

Do you even like brussel sprouts? someone asks over the laughter.

No. Not really.

The laughter bursts out of all of us”

Laughter at meal time. I love that,and sometimes it doesn’t matter what we’re eating be they popsicles or brussel sprouts.

Contributing Editor Erin Kotecki Vest also blogs at Queen of Spain blog, where her children are sticky faced and malnourished from too many pieces of cake for breakfast.


  1. I’m totally with you on this. 3yo (my sister’s kid, I’ve been keeping while her husband is in hospital) got chocolate cake b4 bed last night. My 8mo eats off my plate all the time. Oh, let me just tell you how my sis in law gets onto me for that. And yes, I’ve played a story-weave game or two whilst sitting for kids. Does this mean I am a slacker?

  2. “Dad is great – he makes us chocolate cake!”

    That skit from Bill Cosby influenced how we raised our son. Yes, we had chocolate cake for breakfast at times. Yes, we had breakfast for supper (many times). But, on the other hand, he also would order broccoli in a restaurant. He grew up healthy of body. And he knows that dad makes a wicked chocolate cake.

  3. Aw Christ. Totally buying tofu this weekend.

  4. Erin – this is fabulous! I am a total “in moderation” person. My sister in law makes me insane because she is anti-sugar, anti-dairy, anti-wheat, anti-many whole food groups (apparently I consider sugar a food group!). They don’t have kids yet, but I am so stressed for their future kids to not ever eat sugar and to grow up hearng it is totally, always bad for you. I do not like zealotry in any form.

    My son has several food allergies which is making food an issue in our house. But we just tested chocolate cake and he passed! So…looks like we can at least have some fun now too. Seriously, thanks for the reminder. While we can’t be as laidback because of allergies, we will definitely do crazy food days, eat gluten free pancakes for dinner, and chocolate cake for all three meals if we want!

    Great post! Too bad about the upcoming tofu this weekend though! 🙂

  5. I agree 100%. My kids help cook & I give them the freedom to be “expressive” (okay odd) with their food.

    Back in the “olden days” my great-grandmother got in trouble with the local school because she let my grandmother’s brother eat a hamburger for breakfast. (He told his teacher, who told the principal, who told ? I don’t know the breakfast boss people). She defended herself by saying, “If it’s nutritious enough for supper, it’s nutritious enough for breakfast…I fed my son a hot meal before he walked to school.”


    I so HEART my great-grandma!!

  6. My 5yo son had a chocolate supcake and chocolate milk for breakfast today. But his choice for snack at 1/2 day kindergarten today? Cherry tomatoes and button mushroom marinated in garlic olive oil. His dinner? Arugula and Basil pesto pizza on whole wheat crust, and a fruit smoothie.

    I don’t think I even remembered to give him lunch.

  7. I take my kids to the local bakery for a snack almost every day — mostly because I like to nibble on the leftovers! Don’t tell my husband. He insists that I pack a lunch for my eldest every day because the school lunches aren’t nutritious enough. Compromise, compromise.

  8. This is great! I am in the same exact boat as you. My daughter will eat just about anything, healthy and not-so-much. Matter of fact, she had tuna salad for breakfast yesterday (it was requested) and a waffle with ice cream for dinner. I agree with you that when you don’t make food an issue, kids enjoy it more. Same idea as Adam & Eve, right? So when she wants a lollipop, instead of turning it into a forbidden food, I let her have a go at it. My husband hates it, but I’m the mom, and I know best, lol. I know that the lollipop is going to be forgotten about and stuck to my coffee table after about 5 licks anyway, so what’s the point in fighting?

  9. I totally love this post, I’m a new reader, but this reminds me of me so much that it’s scary. I am the kind of mom who lets her kid (last year she was 2 at halloween) keep her bag of trick or treat candy and eat it whenever she wants. I figure that if I let her learn her own limits and don’t make candy and sweets such a big deal she’ll learn moderation on her own. I am an awful example of what to eat and not to eat because I pretty much eat whatever I want whenever I want it. I don’t scrutinize anything that I eat. If I want chocolate cake for breakfast I eat it, if Jezi wants chicken nuggets for breakfast and cherios for luch dinner and snacks, then I say go for it kid. I usually fix a big home cooked meal several times a week, and the rest of the time I just feed her whatever she wants. She knows what we’ve got and I’ll tell you that she is a healthy and happy kid who doesn’t act crazy or bounce off the walls when she gets cake and ice cream and a ton of candy at a party. She knows her limits and she has NEVER had a stomach ache from eating junk, because she knows when to stop eating it. I find this to be awesome, and if no one else agrees, well I don’t really care.

  10. My mother was pretty lax about food choices as I was growing up. Of course there wasn’t much education about nutrition and the role it plays in healthy living back then. We had dessert after every meal. Snacks were usually sugary in nature. As a kid I didn’t have any problems with that. When our bodies are young they are quite resilient. However, as an adult I kept the food lessons that my mother taught me. I didn’t learn my own limits on my own. That isn’t how it works. I eventually ended up having a heart attack at the age of 36 because I simply didn’t know how to eat well.

    I wish my Mom had taught me well. I wish my Mom hadn’t just let me figure it out on my own. I think she was looking for love and that overrode her mandate as a parent to provide discipline, and to teach me how to set boundaries and limits. These are the things that parents are supposed to do. I wish she had sought her approval more from her friends and less from her kids.

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