Eat Ice Cream for Dinner This Week

Last weekend, my favorite local ice cream shop promoted a year’s shipment of giant homemade apple cider dumplings with ice cream, as well as very large Belgian waffle sandwiches. I have a sweet tooth, but my appetite is below average, which means that I usually have to give up something so thick and rich in favor of a small cup of ice cream. Unless, of course, I plan to do so. Deciding to make food out of it.

I come from a family that tends to graze and graze all day instead of choosing three meals a day, so ice cream for dinner is something I learned to get involved in early childhood. From time to time, on a hot summer day, my mother would say, “Ice cream for dinner?” and we got into the car because who are we to argue with such a genius?

If you haven’t tried making a meal with a frozen treat – or introduced your kids to the concept – you may be worried about creating an unhealthy precedent. I’m not here to suggest that you ditch these fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for a meal plan that regularly causes your kids to bounce off walls before bed. I assume that you will carefully and strategically delight the absolute hell of your kids (once in a while!) – while ensuring that they get all these nutrients and whatnot the rest of the time.

Alternatively, you can trick them into thinking they are eating ice cream for dinner. Take this example, from a mom who recently called the One Bad Mother podcast to convey her “genius moment” when she announced that the family would be eating ice cream for dinner to get through the tough journey:

We were driving home from a trip, and around 4:30 there were grumpy children in the car, almost lunchtime. So we stopped when we were almost home and told our three and a half that we had ice cream for dinner. It did it all day long. He was so excited that he ate the entire ice cream cone and was covered from head to toe with chocolate ice cream, but was very happy. And then we came home, took a bath and had a snack before bed, as always. We had cheese, spinach and peaches quesadillas and he happily ate them as a bedtime snack rather than for dinner because he thinks he got ice cream for dinner.

My son is lucky with my sweet tooth and growing boy’s appetite, so he still eats a little lunch at Ice Cream for Dinner night. (He ate half a peanut butter bagel, grapes, and a few pretzels last night before digging into a large serving of Cookie Monster ice cream.) Or maybe ice cream for lunch makes more sense in your home – there are no hard and fast rules!

It’s not exactly how you handle the logistics, but what you announce, “This is ice cream for dinner!” it’s a fun thing that can help ease the most moody pandemic sentiments.

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