Smaller bowls help promote kids’ healthy weights and reduce food waste

child size portions dec 2013Whether your child eats at home or at school you’ll be amazed at what influences children’s eating habits!  It may come as no surprise that using bigger dishes can result in eating more food in adults, and a new study reveals that “kids are also vulnerable to this bowl-size bias”. One of our favourite researchers, Dr Brian Wansink just published a new study that found when kids are given larger bowls, they ask for more food, eat more of it and waste more as well.

In one experiment, “the young children requested almost twice as much cereal to eat when presented with the larger bowl compared with the smaller bowl” regardless of their age, gender, and BMI. In another trial older children ate 52 per pent more with the larger bowls than the smaller bows. As well, when using the larger bowl, kids wasted 26 per cent more food, leaving behind what they couldn’t eat.”

Based on these findings, Dr Wansink and his team of researchers suggest an easy solution for parents and caregivers who are concerned about their kids’ caloric intake: “Use smaller bowls for serving food to children as a way to potentially reduce overeating and waste .”

For more valuable insight from Dr. Brian Wansink read his most recent work, titled Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (2006) or visit http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/op/servingkids

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