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April 19, 2013

Dinner Plate Downsizing

by Tracy Jensen

Two new studies released last week tie how children are fed to obesity rates. One reported that kids who served themselves (as in “family style”) ate fewer calories if given a smaller plate. The bigger the plate, the bigger the servings, and the more they ate. A second study showed that kids who ate four to five smaller meals throughout the day, rather than three larger ones, were less likely to be overweight or obese.

Neither of these studies drills down into what types of foods the kids ate. They don’t discuss the number of vegetable servings, nor how the food was prepared. The results here should be taken as statistical “trends.” But it does make you wonder… is HOW we serve food just as important as WHAT we serve? And if it is, can we change the how and cut the amount of calories our kids really eat?

Making a big change in the way we shop or cook can seem overwhelming. And while improving our diet is something we should all strive for, perhaps making a smaller change in the way we serve food could help until we get there.

What do you think? Would you try one of these techniques at home?

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