There is a popular saying that one eats to live and not lives to eat. It is essential that one should eat food sufficient for him to be healthy, happy and live a normal life. Excess of food can be a cause of innumerable diseases. Obesity being one of such diseases and it is becoming very common in children. Obesity has become a cause of concern for the health departments of governments of developed countries.
When parents overeat they find some excuse for this, like overworking or payment having been made for purchased quantity of food. However in the beginning children start overeating for no reason or out of fun, but subsequently make this a habit resulting in problems in later life. The elders should set an example for the children about portion control necessity, otherwise their child is likely to develop habit of overeating, which will continue to adulthood.
Parents should keep in mind the following while imparting portion control training to the child.
Tell the child that the stomach has food holding limitations. Human stomach can hold food equal to the quantity which a person can hold in his fist. It may be better if small sized plates are placed on the table instead of large sized restaurant plates. This way the quantity of food served will not be excessive and the child will be comfortable finishing the full serving before getting up. Similarly if you are serving some drink like Coke or Pepsi along with the food use small glasses, however large glasses can be used to serve water.
If you happen to go to a restaurant, while placing order for food, ensure that you have ordered child food for your kid. These are served in small quantities. Still if you find that the quantity is more than that your child should eat, get a portion of it packed for consumption subsequently. Even if you are placing a common order for the whole family and the food ordered is more than that needed, instead of overeating or wasting it, get it packed so that you can keep it in deep freezer at home and consume it the next day.
If you are bringing ready food at home ensure that the quantity ordered for home consumption is not excessive and the children keep a limit on servings. Let the child serve food himself. For this medium sized serving spoon should be kept. Tell the child to take only that much food which he or she can finish easily without overeating.
It is always better to eat homemade food served in ordinary family eating style using pots and pans. While ensuring that there is no overeating, even if the child does eat something extra it will not be harmful. The best strategy is that the parents should put the example themselves before their children and keep counseling the child regularly about harms of over eating or eating junk food and consequent health problems.