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Children eat more when given larger portions, less when they serve themselves
Friday, November 05, 2004 3:59 am Email this article
Children eat substantially more when given a larger portion, but ate 25 percent less at lunch when they were allowed to serve themselves according to the Institute of Medicine's report on Childhood Obesity (2004, p. 346). Infants and toddlers younger than 5-years-old self regulate intake
Research shows that Infants and toddlers up to 5-years of age, self regulate their calorie intake.
However, by the age of 5, children tend to eat what they are given, suggesting that by that age they are not only eating according to hunger, but also eating according to external cues.
Recommendations for parents
The report gives the following recommendations to parents to help children learn to regulate their food intake:
- Allow children to determine their own portions at meals.
- Encourage children to pay attention to their own internal signals of fullness and permit them to decide when they have finished eating a meal.
- Do not insist on “cleaning the plate”
- Avoid using food as a reward. This practice dissociates eating from hunger and clearly establishes preferences for foods used as rewards.
- Make fruits and vegetables readily available in the home to encourage selection of these foods as snacks and desserts.
- Offer smaller portions of foods, for example, smaller cookies or slices of pizza.
- Carefully consider the quality of and the possible need to limit the types of snack foods and beverages that are available and accessible to children in the home.
Read The Report For Free On-line
You can purchase a copy of this report or read it for free a page a time on-line.
Preventing childhood obesity: Health in the balance. Institute of Medicine. 2004 Sep 30, 482 pages.
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