Thursday, December 8, 2011

Super-Sizing Healthy Food Makes Kids Eat More of It

Children tend to eat more of a food if they see more of it on their plates.  This "super-sizing" has been seen as a bad thing.  Fast food restaurants have been blamed for providing huge portions, which cause people to eat more unhealthy food.

But what if we could turn "super-sizing" on its head?  What if we could help our children eat more of a healthy food by super-sizing it?

A recent study found that serving children double portions of fruits and vegetables made them eat 37% more vegetables and a whopping 70% more fruit!


Give Your Child Super-Sizes of Healthy Foods

If you are serving vegetables, fruit, or other healthy foods for dinner, try giving your child a big, adult-sized portion.  You may be surprised that she focuses on eating this big portion, rather than the other less healthy items on her plate.


This Technique Only Works If Your Child Already Likes the Food

If your child hates spinach, and sees a huge glob of it on her plate, she will not eat more.  If anything, she may be repelled by the large pile that takes up half her plate.

Start by teaching your child to like the food by using these techniques.  Once your child likes the food (or at least thinks it's ok), then give her larger portions of it.

Give Your Child Less of the Main Dish and More Fruits and Vegetables


Another study has found that giving children less of a main dish, like macaroni and cheese, made children eat more of the healthy fruits and vegetables that accompanied it.  Give your child a healthy main dish, but make sure it's a child-sized portion.  You don't want your child filling up on the main dish and leaving the extra healthy fruits and vegetables untouched.

Doesn't Serving Big Portions of Fruits and Vegetables Waste Food?

Frugal or environmentally conscious parents might object that giving your child big portions may waste food.  Although your child will eat more of the food if the portions are big, she may also leave more on her plate than she would if she were served a child-sized portion.

You can finish off your child's extra food yourself.  Your child will see you eating it and will be even more convinced that the food is tasty because Dad or Mom is eating it with gusto.

Related Articles
25 Ways to Get Your Child to Eat Vegetables
The One-Bite Suggestion: Help for Picky Eaters

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