I've never met a child who didn't like sweets...well, yes, I did, but then she outgrew it. Let me start by saying that I'm not a believer in depriving kids of the pleasure of chocolate or ice cream. I only doll out treats on special occasions, after an exemplary display of self-control, on days when I want to be "super" mom, and at times when I can't resist the urge myself (I did go through a "no sugar" cleanse once upon a time, it wasn't pretty, but that's for another post). I follow 3 rules when it comes to controlling sugar intake in my house:
- No sugary treats kept at home. Ever.
- Limit number of bites of a treat (except on birthdays...then it's a free-for-all)
- Go for highest quality. Always.
So far, these three rules have proven useful in our household, and we rarely deal with excessive whining for sugar. Remember, sugar is the most addictive substance, and we, as parents, have to work hard to make sure our kids don't get addicted to it, but still get to enjoy it in a fun and healthy way.
Now, for the good part. When you've decided it's time to take your kids out for a treat, here are my favorite places to go in the city that serve up delicious, high quality treats.
Little Cupcake Bakeshop
30 Prince Street (Nolita). Mini cupcakes, rice crispies and their divine Brooklyn Blackout cake are just a few our favorites. This is a nice place to stop by for a treat, right after a visit to the McNally Jackson Bookstore, a few doors down on Prince St. (212) 941-9100.
200 Columbus Ave. (Upper West Side). It's our family tradition to serve Magnolia's chocolate cake on every birthday. This year, I also served their famous Banana Pudding for dessert. Also, don't miss their Chocolate Pudding Parfait, it's out of this world. (212) 724-8101.
41 E. 78th Street (Upper East Side). Visit their iconic Upper East Side location and you'll be delighted by all the treats they have on display. It's a tight squeeze, so leave the strollers at home. Go for their classic Mille Crêpes cake, the other flavors are also delicious if you have adventurous eaters. Fun fact: Masa serves their Green Tea Mille Crêpes cake for dessert...you know it must be THAT good! (212) 452-2222.
398 West Broadway (Soho). Now this is a place for legendary tea parties. If you have a girly girl, she will adore this place...and, I don't have to tell you how good the macarons are...you already know! They have a beautiful outdoor garden, so save this place for your special occasion treats! It's right next door to Bonpoint, in case you feel like splurging some more! (646) 392-7868.
484 Broome Street (Soho). This is a cute little tea parlor that serves delicious and colorful chocolates. Your kids will love the different painted chocolate bars and you will equally be delighted by this little hidden gem in the heart of Soho. This is also a great place to buy hostess gifts and souvenirs. (212) 925-6999.
And, because I can't just stop at 5 places...it's a big city, you know (and my sweet tooth is almost as big), I've listed a few other noteworthy places for you and your little sweethearts.
- Jacques Torres (don't miss their warm chocolate chip cookies)
- Two Little Red Hens
- Fay Da Bakery
- Il Laboratorio del Gelato
- Manousheh (don't miss their Nutella on flatbread)
- Treat House
I want to hear about what other New York institutions your kids love and your favorite treats, please leave your comments below.