Dessert at every meal?

My children all think that you should have a dessert after every meal - both lunch and dinner in fact.  I used to go along with this but for the past couple of months I've cut lunchtime desserts out but still they think that every dinner should be followed by a sweet pud of some kind.  

Now, I was thinking back the other day to my own childhood and the question of dessert.  As my (somewhat unreliable) memory informs me, we generally had a dessert after dinner but definitely not lunchtime, unless you count running out of the door to play with an ice-pop as 'dessert'.  After dinner desserts were variable. I remember mum made the most wonderful rice pudding and the fight for that lovely, brown 'skin' always resounded in the kitchen as clearly I wanted it all!  We had numerous stodgy puds (spotted dick, jam roly-poly and the like), fruit (canned and fresh), ice cream, flans, custard...quite a list in fact.

My youngest girls are very picky about their desserts, a fact I find completely baffling.  They mainly like yoghurt, ice cream/lollies, custard or jelly.  That's it really.  Not a peach slice or pear half in sight and as for any fruit other than strawberries, raspberries, apples and bananas, forget it.  In fact, when yoghurt or fresh fruit is offered it is normally met with a kind of groan and that look of 'can't we have something *nice*?'  Trust me, they were brought up on everything but as they have got older they have become more fussy about dessert. 
Now, for two pins I'd tell them to have it or leave it and offer more variety despite knowing they won't try other things.  You know "It's jam roly-poly or nothing" but I know that somehow I would be seen as the bad person.  I'd be the mum who didn't offer a 'nice' dessert that they liked. They would view it that they were being punished as they didn't get a dessert - yes my fault I know as lack of dessert has been the punishment for not eating their dinner, and fair enough I think.
Desserts just add more to my shopping bill and I'm thinking of ways to cut it down (aren't we all?).  So, I'd be curious as to what others do.  Do you give desserts every meal or dinners only or just special days (weekends) or special dinners (birthdays)?


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