Why you shouldn’t feed your child when you’re hungry
A new study's findings show that hungry parents feed their children more
We all know why we shouldn’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach—we often end up overindulging, and with fattening, unhealthy food at that. A new study from the University of Florida suggests that your hunger also affects how much you feed your child; the hungrier you are at mealtimes, the more likely you are to overfeed your child.
The findings of the study appeared in the June issue of the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. The researchers asked 29 mothers to rate their hunger as well as their child’s prior to a meal. Those who were hungry also perceived their child to be hungry as well, and ended up serving their child larger portions of food.
“Because young children have difficulty recognising when they are full, the more food they are presented at mealtime, the more they are likely to eat,” said lead investigator Sarah Stromberg.
Personal eating habits may also factor in to how you feed your child. Researchers observed that overweight mothers tended to rate their child’s hunger as higher, and also tended to serve more food to their children.
There are other studies that have found similar cases where parents project their feelings onto their children. A previous study found that parents with depression and anxiety are more likely to think that their children are experiencing the same symptoms.
Here are three tips to help you feed your child properly:
1. Teach your kids what a balanced meal looks like.
On a plate, it’s 1/2 vegetables, 1/2 lean meat or beans, and 1/4 grains.
2. Teach your kids to eat their veggies.
You can do this by serving smaller portions of grains, meat, and greens first. Don’t give them seconds of anything until they finish their veggies. Then, they can have more of what they want.
3. Give your child serving sizes of snacks.
Instead of giving him/her the whole bag of chips, you can serve them in small containers to avoid overeating.