Pushing Kids to Eat More May Lead to Obesity Later in Life

Faith at Waffle House_3565 Can you remember as a kid, “You have to finish everything on your plate before you can leave?”

Of course we want to make sure that our kids are getting enough food, but what if this could lead to overeating and obesity as an adult?

There has been a recent study showing that forcing our kids to eat more can lead them to an unhealthy lifestyle and weight as an adult.

So what did the study show?

More parents with children not overweight were found to have been pressuring their children to finish their plates than parents with children who were overweight. Dads were found to be more demanding than moms when it came to children finishing their meals, while adolescent boys were pressured more in comparison to adolescent girls.

Why is it important to not force a child to finish their food?

For some instances, some children will say that they are full, when really they don’t like what’s left on their plate and would rather not eat it. But for the majority of kids, they can tell when they are full and can no longer eat. It’s important for kids and young adults to recognize what it feels like to be full, and learn how to not overeat. Forcing your child to eat beyond their means, will not allow them to learn to eat until full and rather eat until all the food is gone.

What can you as a parent do to make sure that your kids are getting enough food?

There are a few ways that you can help make sure that your children are getting the necessary nutrients without overeating.

Fix their plates

It’s important to know what a good helping is for a child. Of course, we shouldn’t be giving adult sized portions to a child, they cannot eat as much as us.

Give them enough veggies

If you know they are getting an adequate amount of healthy food with their meals, then its okay if they don’t finish everything as long as they’ve eaten a good amount.

Know your child

Observing your child’s eating habits will give you a clue as to whether they are full or they just don’t like what you’ve given them. Give them both a mixture of foods they like, with some they may not like as much but are good for their growing bodies.

 Story credit 

Photo Credit: Faith at Waffle House_3565 By: James Emery. Used under the Creative Commons license.

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.