Should Children Clear the Plate?

Should children always have to clear their plate before leaving the table? This has been of some controversy over the years and there is still no one answer to this question. Growing up we were always told to clear our plate and not to waste food, however, this could have been doing more harm than good. Being forced to eat everything on our plates could have caused us to think that feeling stuffed was normal and that we should always have that feeling after a meal, leading to over eating and most likely weight gain. Even though mother typically knows best, a recent study has shown that a mere 5 out of 20 mothers actually could assess their child’s hunger-fullness level accurately. So what does this indicate? One study cannot conclude anything, however, there has been evidence that letting your child stop eating when they say they are full is beneficial for them to recognize when they are full and reduce the risk of over eating. Now, we are not saying that they should be able to eat whatever they want. Serve child-sized portions, try to get them to eat their veggies first so they are not missing out on vital nutrients and try to limit dessert to a special treat every once in a while!

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