Why Kids Need Icecream for Dinner

Mango icecream
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Trust you to begin on the football field and end with a strong message about the presence of God.” This comment came from one of my readers on my Monday post. It’s true. It’s part of my soul I guess. I write through my “faith lens”.  This spills into other areas of life and my family rolls their collective eyes at what they call my “Marilyn” questions. Questions about life and faith and redemption. Those questions that seem tangential but to me are critically important!

But today I realize that these past couple weeks of blogging have held some heavy feelings, strong defenses and a lot of passion. And frankly, sometimes we need a break. So today is light and fluffy. In that spirit I offer you 3 simple  reasons why kids need ice cream for dinner.

  • Excitement
  • Bonding
  • Memories

Excitement ~

The excitement that a child feels when they realize that they are getting ice cream with 6 different choices for toppings for dinner knows no bounds. It’s so unexpected. It’s so what life should be. Expecting vegetables, chicken,rice or potatoes and suddenly finding out that these are replaced by creamy, cold, sweet ice cream.  It helps to teach children that life holds amazing surprises in unexpected places.


How many parents and kids bond over spinach? Brussels sprouts? Broccoli? See – they don’t. There’s nothing to talk about over these vegetables, but the atmosphere changes when ice cream is served for dinner. It’s a perfect segue to talking about what really matters in life. Suddenly there are all kinds of conversation possibilities. Life is full of vegetables, but how often is it full of ice cream?


Memories of ice cream for dinner? Priceless. These are the moments that Master Card commercials are made for. Moments of pure joy, mouths full, brain freezes, sticky fingers, yummy flavors – these are what yield the “Do you remember when….” memories of the future.

In the world of parenting where we are constantly assaulted by without and within with the rules, the do’s, the don’ts, the worry, the control issues, the mirror held up to our tired faces that too often shouts at us “You’re not the fairest in the land! Snow White – that beauty over in the woods is a way better parent!”  – it is in this world that we need ice cream for dinner.  Maybe not for the kids, but most certainly for us!

Readers – what are your thoughts on or memories of ice cream for dinner? It’s a Friday and we need your stories! Share in the comment section.

24 thoughts on “Why Kids Need Icecream for Dinner

  1. Now here is a really old memory – long ago when I was very young we took a long (for those days) car trip of 100 miles every second summer to visit my Dad’s only sister and our cousins in Pittsfield. Just as we came to the outskirts of the city there was an ice cream shop that sold double dip cones for 10 cents. We always stopped even though we were nearly there. It was such a big cone, and so cold and delicious and creamy. We must have driven right by the corner of your Dad’s street, but I had to grow up and go to college to meet him in Boston. Enjoy Seattle!


    1. Love this memory you shared! It is funny to think that Dad probably went to the same ice cream place. Do you remember how you and dad would always stop for late night ice cream at Howard Johnson’s when we were in the US and you would sometimes take us to churches on Sunday nights? I don’t remember one of the churches but I sure remember peppermint ice cream from Howard Johnson’s and eating our cones as a family!


  2. I knew that I was marrying into the right family when I learned that Craig’s parents started a tradition long ago of ice cream on sunday evenings. (When they lived in Ecuador, it was homemade and apparently quite a treat!.) Now, we often go over on Sunday evenings and stop by the village store on the way for a half gallon of (what else?) chocolate peanut-butter!


    1. Ahh! I didn’t know that about Craig’s family but what a keeper! I love chocolate peanut butter as well but my all time favorite is fresh blackberry or raspberry. Is Thomas an ice cream lover yet?


  3. During the summer days of my growing up, we harvested vegetables and fruits for my mother to can. I shelled peas and beans so much that I vowed to never shell them when I grew up and I don’t (I buy frozen). What does this have to do with ice cream?? At the end of the day our reward was that we got to churn out a big gallon of ice cream, using our own fresh milk, cream, eggs and seasonal fruit. Sometimes we picked blackberries and threw them into the rich custard. Yes, custard that my mother made over a hot wood stove. We made gallons of ice cream in Pakistan. Once on our long train trip to Murree each year we knew we had to wait several hours at Rohri for connections. So we took all the makings for ice cream, and in the big waiting room, bought ice at the station and in the old fashioned way, churned out a gallon of the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten,. I even opened a can of imported pineapple to throw in. Once I served the late Begum Bhutto homemade ice cream. That’s another story.
    Ice cream? Everyone screams for ice cream!!!!


    1. Bettie – that would have been a better title! “We all Scream for Ice Cream!” I love your descriptions of child hood and I can practically taste the ice cream with fresh blackberries. Wow – sounds so good. One of the things I really enjoyed about your book is some of the ending pieces where you shared about your childhood. It made the story complete.
      The picture of your family at Rohri station is the stuff that good stories are made of, but the story that I want you to blog on is the story of serving Begum Bhutto home made ice cream. That would be a treat to read. Will you think about it?!


  4. Well, Marilyn, you really did it this time. I see your brother, Eddie (about 2 years old) sitting wit the rest of your family and my family at a greasy table in a Chinese restaurant in Karachi. Your brother fell sound asleep while eating his ice cream — and I am picturing it right now. We all laughed — but Sam, the Ice Cream Man, was horrified, shocked, amazed — who could go to sleep eating ice cream? Happy memories from before you were born. Aunt Grace


    1. I love this story! What a fun memory. I remember when the first ice cream machine came to Murree. So fun. Also remember the old machines that we used to crank and my dad would get big blocks of ice and salt from the bazaar. Fun to find out how much Uncle Sam loved ice cream! Thank you so much for reading and the memories Auntie Grace!


  5. I remember the excitement still of that special Friday night ice cream. That wonderful smell of a warm summer evening … the smell of soap as daddy washed his hands after coming home from work … the sun low on the horizon … and the childlike joy as the four of us piled into the car for the short drive to the small-town ice cream shop. Mom let us do whatever gross mixture of flavor we pleased: one scoop of mint chocolate chip, another of cherry, and the top of chocolate. It didn’t matter. To us it was the height of grown-up-ness to tell the lady behind the window what flavors we wanted, and mom knew that.
    Then there was the joy of sitting together around the round table with it’s faded umbrella, watching the sun go down. As soon as we finished our ice cream, we would go to the park and play till we were tired. I still remember the feeling of sticky hands, covered in grime and sand from the sand box. Swinging on the swings, trying to hold tight as daddy pushed me higher and higher…and the warmth of just being family.
    I really don’t remember if the ice cream was particularly tasty or not – but the memories of those times together last!


    1. “the height of growupness” what a wonderful thing to feel- that being grown up wasn’t going to rob you of fun and seeing that modeled by your parents. Great memory made even greater by your willingness to share with us! Thank you!

      Marilyn Gardner Sent from my iPhone


    1. Oh you need to change this immediately! You’re dinner is coming up in a couple of hours right? So invite some friends over and have each of them bring a topping and have at it! Let me know if you accept the challenge! If you do then you get a prize – seriously! I’ll send you one of my favorite books.


  6. Love this post – and my husband will too! I plan to share it with him today… after I take him out for an icecream dinner. He’s the only kid I have at home:)


      1. Yes, I have memories of homemade ice cream, mostly in Dadu. I remember when the first soft-serve place opened in Karachi (Spinzer’s), and we loved going there! I haven’t had home-made ice cream in years…..I’d much rather go into the grocery store and stand in front of the freezer case and choose a flavor!


  7. What a great way to start the day! thinking about doing something unexpected for our kids. i especially like the line, “Life is full of vegetables, but how often is it full of ice cream?”. So true, thanks for the read.


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