I grew up in a house where we ate dessert pretty much every night; whether it was 2 cookies, a small slice of cake, ice cream cone - we were allowed after our supper. We weren't made to clean our plates, but we did need to have "enough" as deemed by our parents.
My mother loves to bake - and she is terriffic. This meant that we almost always had homebaked cookies, brownies, muffins, cupcakes or cake in the house. As long as we ate our nutritious meals, we were allowed to enjoy the baked goods - in moderation.
Moderation - I think that this is key. I am like my mother, we always have junk in the house (normally home made, but sometimes store-bought) and I let my oldest son eat it. He has such a variety of food in his diet (grains, dairy, fruits, vegetables and meats) that when he has 2 cookies - I am ok with that. He doesn't get dessert after dinner EVERY night, but I will be honest and tell you that he has cookies/cake/popsicles or the like pretty much EVERY day. He also eats peanut butter, chicken, eggs, apple sauce, yogurt, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, rice, salmon(a favorite), tuna, garden salad, steak, potatos, asparagus (one of his favs).
He is not overweight; he has no health concerns other than asthma; and he is a VERY active soon-to-be 4 yr old.
When I think of 2 cookies and the rest of his diet - it makes up such a small portion of the food he eats daily - and it doesn't KEEP him from eating the rest of the nutritious food that is provided.
So, what is your take on the situation? Do you let your kids have junk food on a regular basis, or is it reserved for special occasions only?