You might be surprised to learn portion sizes for kids just aren’t that big. Our society suffers from “portion distortion” and the concept that bigger is better, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. In an effort to help prevent childhood, and thus, adult obesity, we have some tips to share to help keep your child’s serving sizes appropriate.
Make it a habit to put small servings of a few different foods on your children’s plates. If they finish the servings, they can always ask for more or try another food on the plate. At each meal, try to include servings of a fruit, a vegetable, a protein, a dairy, and a grain. The new MyPlate guidelines from the US Department of Agriculture recommends that half of a 6- to 7-inch plate be filled with fruits and vegetables according to the serving size recommendations for your child’s age.
Encourage your kids to pay attention to their bellies, and to alert you when they start to feel full. Forcing your children to finish all their food teaches them to overeat. The habit of overeating can override their ability to stop eating when they are full. Urge children to try each of the foods on their plates instead of finishing everything. Download our free portion size tip sheet to ensure your kids get the proper nutrition and food amounts.