'Clean Plate Club' May Make Kids Overeat

Parents may have their kids’ best interests in mind when they urge them to ‘clean the plate’. However, when kids are forced to eat, they develop unhealthy eating habits. A new study by Cornwell University also found out that when kids are forced to clean their plate, they eat more snacks outside home

Why Shouldn’t Parents Force Their Kids to Clean the Plate?

Hunger is the factor which should dictate when to start and stop eating. However, when you force your child to clean the plate, the focus is on quantity of food served, not on hunger. This habit can continue throughout life and your kid may continue to eat food even though he/she is not hungry. This can lead to consequences such as overeating, obesity, eating disorders etc.

The Study By Cornwell University:

Researchers from Cornwell University asked about 63 mothers the extent to which they force their children to clean the plate. They found at that those kids who were asked to clean the plate requested more sweetened cereal at daycare

The researchers opine that when kids are forced to clean the plate, they do not develop the self-control when they are around food. They may act out or may overeat when away from home

Tips to Make Kids Eat Healthy:

While making kids eat, parents should focus on quality of food and not on quantity. Here are a few tips to make kids eat healthy:

  • Provide smaller portions of food and let your child ask for additional serving if hungry
  • Provide your kids healthier alternatives of food. In this way, they can choose the food they like to eat
  • Introduce new foods in smaller quantities
  • Involve your kids in cooking. Kids are more likely to eat if they are involved in cooking

Clean the plate trick does not work in the long-term. This can result in lack of self-control when it comes to eating food. Instead, encourage your kids to try varieties of healthy foods and let them decide if they want more servings

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