Send Us Your Health Questions

Ask Dr. Sandy




Clean Plate = Overweight?

There is no video for this file.

We all want our children to grow up healthy and strong. That takes a healthy diet that provides good nutrition.

So we may tell them “Clean your plate” -- especially the veggies.

Growing up, i heard that a lot from my mom. She wanted to make sure I ate a well balanced diet. And it worked then...But maybe not now.

Portion sizes have gotten bigger. Unfortunately, so have too many of our kids.

A new study in the journal Pediatrics looks at more than 2000 adolescents --average age of 14 and a half,--- and how parents affect eating habits.

Parents of overweight kids were more likely to try to restrict their child’s food intake and encourage them not to eat.

Parents of normal weight kids were more likely to pressure them to eat more. Why? The researchers say it may be because kids are “bigger” these days. Parents may think their kids are underweight when they are really normal weight.

Fathers were more likely than mothers to force food…with sons more so than daughters.

The study says both methods are counterproductive for good models of eating behavior and may backfire.

Kids need to learn to regulate their own food intake- To take cues from their stomachs: GAUGE its fullness versus the emptiness of their plates.

Researchers recommend having plenty of healthy and nutritious food choices available.

Let your kids decide when they have had enough to eat. Let them learn to listen to their stomachs.

Set a good example. They will likely model your behavior.

My mom is a great grandma. But when she told my children what she had told me – clean your plate -- I said no -- and told them to stop eating when they were full.