The Feeding Doctor on Pinterest

“child-sized” portion of dessert and mall fun

Posted by on Jan 19, 2012 in Blog Posts | 15 comments

Note, I will be out of town and not posting for the week of Jan 20- Jan 29th…

We went to Rosedale mall recently. A few thoughts…

One of our favorite things at the Rosedale mall is looking for fossils in the stone flooring. There are these amazing Amenids all over the floor and we have a great time walking around looking for them. Look for fossils when you are out places, the Minneapolis Art Museum has some fossils too…

Then we ate at Ruby Tuesdays which I like generally. (Here is an eating-out post from awhile ago  and a video I did about eating out.) M enjoyed the salad bar and pasta with red sauce. I asked for an ice-cream for dessert (from the children’s menu) and showed them an appropriate size for an ice-cream dessert. I asked for one ball, I usually show them a size with my hand. Here is what came out. Two large scoops with whipped cream. Not really a “child-sized” portion. M ate more than half, which was fine on that occasion, but shows how tricky it can be when you eat out.

I also order the dessert with the meal, but that is usually met with weird looks, or they just don’t do it, so I just remind M that dessert will be coming later so she can save room. She has been really upset in the past when she is full and then dessert shows up. She won’t eat it, which amazes me that she has the self-regulation thing down, but she is sad…

How do you order desserts when you eat out?

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Kyra

    I’m usually full by the time I get done with the main meal (which, granted, tends to be the part I look forward to anyway). Nine times out of ten, if I get dessert at a restaurant it’s at a buffet so I can grab it with the meal and eat it amidst everything else.

    The other one time out of ten, I go to a restaurant specifically for dessert, and get the meal elsewhere some hours before or after.

  2. Kirsten

    I can’t remember the last time I had dessert at a restaraunt, or in public in general. Friends and relatives included. I only have it at home, when I can enjoy it, and not feel self conscious. That is not to say that I have it all the time. I might have it once a week or so. That’s about as often as I really want it, actually.

    When I do eat at restaurants or someone’s house I’m too self conscious about the meal itself to enjoy it. I can’t even imagine trying to get through dessert without having a nervous breakdown! Trying to beat that, but it’s slooooow going.

  3. Jenny Islander

    In a family of two adults and three small children, we first ask about dessert sizes; then we discuss what we want. We might order one huge sundae with extra spoons, or we might order 2 or 3 smaller desserts for the 5 of us.

  4. inge

    I study the menu, including the “dessert” section before I order. It has happened that I was hungry and there was no desert that seemed tasty or not-overpriced, in which case I prefer to have an appetizer before the meal. It has happened that dessert sounded so spectacular that I ordered a small portion of the main dish, to leave some room. (Especially in Bohemian or Austrian places, dessert is a full meal by itself. But what a meal!)

    I have strong opinions about the order in which I want to eat things, and I can usually convince the servers to give things to me in that order, even if it is non-standard.

  5. wriggles

    he has been really upset in the past when she is full and then dessert shows up. She won’t eat it, which amazes me that she has the self-regulation thing down, but she is sad…

    It is amazing how strong it can get when you respect it, work with it and support it, I congratulate you for helping your daughter this way. It’s such a gift to give a child in societies lucky enough to have food abundance.

  6. Samantha C

    I don’t go out to eat as often now that I live on my own and not with my family, but I ALWAYS leave room for dessert now. Whether it means boxing some of my entree or sharing a dessert or eating my whole dinner and my whole final course. Eating out is for special occasions, and special occasions deserve special food.

    It took me quite a long time to get used to the idea that, when I go out to eat with my friends in my new home, dessert is expected. It’s totally allowable and encouraged to get a three-course meal and enjoy it all. I spent eighteen years going out to dinners where the dessert menu was just a horrible tease, because we were already being so ‘indulgent’ by going out in the first place, we’ll “quit while we’re ahead” and leave without dessert. But then, there was never any dessert at home either. I remember being baffled as late as 18 and 19 years when I stayed at a friend’s house for dinner and her dad was baking desserts for that night.

    (I’ll leave a tangent here about how apparently I have a bigger appetite than most people I know, or I just eat bigger meals or something. Because I can not count the number of times I’ve eaten what felt like a reasonable dinner, leaving me anywhere from pleasantly full to even still slightly hungry, in a group of people teasing each other about oh how much they ate, and mooing about themselves and how stuffed they are and how waddling they are and they couldn’t eat another bite so of course dessert is off the table. I have never, even with very good friends, felt comfortable saying I wasn’t as full as they were.)


  7. Twistie

    My rule of thumb is to order dessert only when (a) I am hungry for it, (b) there is something I really want on the menu., AND (c) it’s going to be at least as good as something I can make for myself. I’m a pretty accomplished baker, so that doesn’t happen all that often.

    At home I usually have some ice cream in the freezer, and I do bake often. Still, I only eat dessert when I really want it. Since Mr. Twistie has diabetes, and isn’t wild about most sweet things, anyway, he eats dessert once in a very blue moon, Yeah, I bake a lot, but most of it is for other people. When someone new in my circle mentions they have a birthday coming up, my first question is ‘what would be your ultimate birthday cake.’ Then I bake it for them. If it’s a cake I like and I’m at the party, I’ll have a slice.

  8. Kate

    We go often to Ledo’s Pizza and often have the same waitress (she is just wonderful) and now she knows without us having to ask, to bring the kids’ dessert WITH my daughter’s dinner. The dessert consists of either two oreos OR a true kid-size portion of vanilla ice cream. Its so comforting to know this restaurant, and this waitress in particular, makes it so easy to follow our general feeding practices. That’s probably one of the main reasons why we always end up there when we decide to go out for dinner. It can make a big difference. : )

  9. Anne

    We usually don’t bother getting dessert because it’s usually not a great cost/quality ratio but there is one local restaurant we frequent that is known for their vast and varied dessert list (all made in house). We always get dessert, but to go (not an issue at this place – they actually have a take out window just for that purpose). This allows my son, and all of us really, to eat dessert at our own pace. For example, their cake slices are so large, we can usually get 2-3 enjoyments out of them without feeling like we have to “eat it all or lose it” or not eat some of our dinner so we have room.

  10. Meghan


    I read your blog regularly and find it very helpful. This post sort of threw me for a loop though, because it seems inconsistent with your allocation of responsibilities. Isn’t your daughter supposed to be permitted to determine portions once you permit the ice cream?

    I understand that restaurant portions are forcibly limited anyway, so maybe the rules are different, but it just gives me some painful flashbacks to my mom making sure the waiter knew to only bring me half a dessert, while my younger brother got a full dessert, or once the dessert arrived, lamenting how it was far too big for anyone to ever finish it, telling me to take only x number of bites, or constantly asking if I was full, or my dad if he wanted the rest of my dessert.

    Hah. Definitely some projection here. And I definitely have my own baggage that makes the subject more sensitive. But do you think it might be embarrassing for a child to hear their mother pre-restricting the amount of dessert they are permitted? Why can’t their tummies be trusted to make that decision for them?

    • katja

      Thanks for reading and speaking up. I’m sorry that happened to you. A few questions. What if you and your brother got the same portion, without all the editorial which was implying you were not the right size, or capable with eating?

      Once the ice-cream arrived, I did not comment. But you are right to be sensitive and you have found the one area where the child doesn’t decide “how much.” Dessert with the meal is one child-sized portion, so maybe one scoop. However, once or twice a week, we allow a “treat” snack with no limits, so we might go to DQ and she can get a big sundae, or we make rice krispie treats with milk and she can have as much as she wants. Desserts that are too large, and if dessert is a regular option can interfere with overall nutrition. Also, once kids are older and the self-regulation piece is down, there is less of a need to be as mindful as the parent.
      Did that answer your question?

      • Heidi

        I think that I’d probably respectfully disagree with this – we do order my son child-sized desserts (i.e., “we’d like the kid’s sundae, please”) but I wouldn’t tell a waitress to bring a specifically sized portion. It makes me think of when I was a kid and my mom was constantly asking me to split meals with her. I knew that, at that time, it was her attempt to limit my eating and really made me feel rebellious and like eating more.

        Now that my relationship with eating is healthier, I’ll suggest it myself if I’m not feeling hungry enough for a full meal, but it really made me feel limited when we were out.

        Just my thoughts – you and M have a very different relationship in terms of food power than my mom and I did, however.

        • katja

          Thanks Heidi! I agree it is a tricky thing. (See my response below to a similar concern.) If we are eating out more than usual, I do try to watch the balance a bit more. When a “child’s” sundae is three scoops of ice-cream and whip-cream, it makes it harder for kids to balance nutrition. We just got back from a cruise, and literally, the kids dessert was 3 scoops with chocolate sauce and marshmallows… We were eating so many desserts. It makes it more difficult when the portions are so distorted. We were desperate for veggies too! My dinner came with three tiny asparagus spears… I too was limited, told, “You don’t need another pork chop” and I too then wanted to eat more, so I tread this line carefully. The day we had 3 scoops of ice-cream for lunch is the day I asked for a “small” scoop with dinner…

    • Jenny Islander

      IME, desserts are so rich and taste so good that kids can easily make themselves ill before they realize they’ve eaten too much. Heck, grown-ups sometimes have that problem! Foods that have a high fat content and a very savory taste can also have that effect sometimes IME.

      Oh, speaking of which: Heard about the new sixth taste? It’s fat. The researcher quoted in the article I read speculated that some people eat too much fat because they can’t taste the fat properly and that’s how they get fat, so giving them a medicine to make their fat taste receptors extra sensitive will help them eat less. I speculate that fat tastes good, that we have fat receptors on our tongues because fat is good, and that some people enjoy that delicious taste of fat and like to eat lots of it. I further speculate that increasing the fat receptors’ sensitivity would make walking down a street of restaurants an utter sensual tease. Imagine smelling anything containing fat and instantly having your tongue react as if you had eaten it!

  11. KellyK

    I usually don’t order dessert unless it’s something I really want, or I’m having a “MUST HAVE CHOCOLATE” kind of day or week and I plan for it at the beginning of the meal. The hubby and I usually split a dessert, or we split an appetizer.

    If I’m getting a dessert, I usually save room by either ordering something less filling (especially at places that have yummy salads) or boxing up about half of my entree.