I gave my daughter chocolate cake for breakfast this morning and I had some very good reasons!
Reason #1: We broke our Yom Kippur fast last night with a feast, and when we got to the end of the meal my daughter said she wanted some chocolate babka but she was too full.
So I said I'd save it for her.
My message: It is safe for you to forgo the babka tonight because it will be waiting for you whenever you want it.
Have you ever thought about Dessert Insecurity? It's not believing that your piece of the pie will still be there when you're ready for it.
And so we eat dessert, whether or not we want it, and whether or not we're full.
I grew up with a couple of brothers who would devour everything in sight, so I know a thing or two about dessert insecurity.
By the way, I made up the term dessert insecurity, at least as far as I know.
Kids need to know that what is theirs is theirs.
Think of this as Dessert Security.
I highly recommend thinking about Dessert Security anytime you suspect that your kids are eating simply because they need to make sure they get their share of the goodies.
Dessert Security is a useful tool for teaching the habit Moderation. (The other two habits that translate nutrition into behavior are proportion and variety.)
Moderation: Eating when you are hungry, stopping when you are full, and not eating because you are bored, sad or lonely—or worried that your favorite cake will be gone before you get a piece!
This is why I recommend a candy drawer. Read:
- Lollypops whenever they want?
- Coping with Party Favor Candy for Kids
- Self Control, Kids and Candy
- Three Lessons Kids Need to Learn about Candy
In case you're worried about how unhealthy the babka is, it compares pretty well to other common breakfast foods.
Yes it has a lot of sugar, but not more than pancakes with syrup. On the other hand, it has way fewer calories and lots less fat than a bagel with cream cheese. And the babka has as much protein as Honey Nut Cheerios.
By the way, I served the babka with a glass of milk.
Let me be clear: I'm not saying that cake is a healthy breakfast. I am saying that it isn't much worse than some of the standard stuff. You can see the comparisons below.
Most importantly, my daughter knows that cake for breakfast is a treat.
Most kids don't think of marginal breakfast fare as treats. Yes, I'm talking about pancakes, waffles, sugary cereal, muffins or even a bagel with cream cheese.
One serving (1.5 oz) of Green's Babka, Chocolate, Original
I didn't serve this brand, but the cake I bought didn't have a nutrition facts label.
(For those of you who aren't familiar with chocolate babka, it's kind of like a coffee cake, or a bread, made with sweet yeast dough and, usually, either chocolate or cinnamon. For some funny about babka watch this Seinfeld Episode.)
A plain bagel and cream cheese from a place like Panera Bread:
Two Eggo Blueberry pancakes without any syrup deliver about 7grams of sugar. Add the syrup and you’re up in Coke territory. Two ounces of syrup– I know it sounds like a lot but those small fast food packets contain-- has approximately 32g of sugar. Read Cookies for Breakfast.
My other reasons for dishing up cake for breakfast...
Reason #2: New braces=sore mouth.
~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~