We only have dessert on special occasions. My Man isn't a fan of sweets, we both have a number of relatives with weight problems (although neither of us do) and we didn't want our kids raised to expect
dessert after every meal. I hate
the child raising tactic of "clean your plate or you don't get dessert" IMO, it creates overweight children who are taught to ignore their bodies "I'm full" signals.
In our house, if you are full you STOP eating, even if you've only had one bite of food. If you aren't hungry, there is never
any pressure to eat. Kids in the "Clean Plate Club" actually end up with more health problems than those who are allowed to titrate their own food intake, and I don't think food should be used as a weapon OR as a reward. Ever!
So, for us, desserts are for birthdays, holidays and company. My kids never ask for it, because it is rarely offered. there is always fruit in the fruit drawer of the refrigerator, and they know that, if they are still hungry after a meal. Although I think walking away from the table before
one feels completely full is a very good idea, and I always do this. I encourage our kids to follow this example.
We were at a birthday party last night, and my youngest daughter actually ate one bite of cake and realized she was full. I think that is a good sign, if they can say NO to sweets based purely on their own body signals being honored and recognized.