Well, we had wonderful foods, and occasionally we would have dessert. It often wasn't decided until the meal was almost over what and if dessert would be...
Poor M... A couple times she would finish eating and then our hostess would bring out these delicious little yogurts. I remember her crying, "But my tummy is too full for dessert! I want dessert, why didn't you tell me there was dessert!"
I didn't want to impose serving a child-sized portion of dessert with the meal as we often do at home (in fact, M has gotten pretty good with food regulation-knowing how much to eat-that we often give her the choice of when to have her dessert at this point.)
So, I talked with the cook/main meal-planner before the meal to determine what she wanted to do for dessert. I then told M before the meal if there was dessert so she could "save some room." This seemed to work out fine. I wasn't sure how it would go, but I remained curious, stayed true to the Division of Responsibility, and it worked out pretty well. (I often was happy for her to have "dessert" yogurt since she is still not a big milk drinker and we try to offer other sources of calcium-rich foods.)
It showed me again though, that she is listening to her body. She did not stuff it in just to enjoy the dessert. We also remained flexible and curious to see how things would go. We don't always get things right the first time :)
A few examples of pressure you might encounter and what you might say:
grampa: "If you take that piece of toast, you have to finish it all."
you say: "Actually Dad, that's not how we do it. Please follow my lead. Billy, why don't we start with half a piece, and if you're still hungry you can have more."
waitress: "You can't have dessert sweetie, until you finish your broccoli!" (really!)
you: "You are getting no tip." (just kidding)
try: "We're doing just fine here. Please bring her dessert now. Thank you."
gramma: "Let's hide his bottle. He's distracted. He eats too much and haven't you heard that obese babies will be fat adults and die before you and get diabetes and, and, and ..."
you: "Gramma, we like to let little Timmy decide when he's done eating. He'll let us know. May I have his bottle back, please?"
Uncle Bob: "You'll hurt Betty's feelings if you don't eat any of her sauce."
you: "Oh, Bob, that's silly! We love Aunt Betty, and thank her for making dinner, but we don't eat anything we don't want to. I'd like some sauce, please."
School: "You have to eat at least half your main food before you can have dessert."
see post... on teaching kids to overeat
how do you deal with it when family/friends/teachers pressure your child with his eating?