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Mashed Potatoes and Ice Cream

By Kayla

No, not together.  That’s gross.  But these are two items that the other night at dinner I witnessed many guests eating.  And that was it.  And all of those guests were kids. 

You may be wondering what the rest of the menu consisted of.  Well, it was pretty good.  The soup was chicken rice.  Entrées were grilled pork chops and beef stew.  The other side besides mashed potatoes was California blend vegetables.  There were also breadsticks for the bread.  So, it was a pretty well-rounded meal even before you get to the full salad bar. Then, of course, there is dessert (on this night, brownie bites) and the ice cream machines. 

When youth are away from home, especially for the first time, it is up to them as to what they eat.  Even though there are options, people sometimes load up on the one or two items they really enjoy, like mashed potatoes and ice cream.  While these are yummy, they don’t provide a balanced meal.  While there are other adults around during mealtimes to watch the kids, they aren’t making their plates.  And most counselors are too fun to suggest something other than ice cream.

This is often a subject that parents don’t think about broaching with their kids before they head off to camp or a retreat.  It just doesn’t seem as important as “don’t forget to shower and bring all your stuff back home.”  But it really is.  If they eat mashed potatoes and ice cream every night for a week, they are going to be sick.  Even if you don’t have the menu of what they will be eating, you can still go over food groups and talk to them about the importance of balance.  

So, yes, they can have some ice cream, as long as they grab some broccoli as well. 

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626