Allowing pre-schoolers to help themselves to food is thought to teach kids healthy eating habits like portion control, but a new study finds that children eat just as much at self-served meals as they do when food is plated for them.
The result “demonstrates the need for adults to make sure they sit and eat with children and help to support children to recognize their hunger and fullness,” said Samantha Ramsay, an assistant professor of Foods and Nutrition at the University of Idaho, who was not involved in the research.
Ramsay added, the findings don’t mean that children should not serve themselves at mealtimes.
Major nutritional and medical organizations have endorsed the practice of letting kids help themselves to food out of communal dishes.
There are a number of benefits to so-called “family style” service, including the development of social skills, such as taking turns, practicing fine motor skills, such as working a fork or spoon, and learning independence, Ramsay said. – Read More