Parents of young children: You don't have to be a super sleuth to know when your family is full. Just watch for clues your youngsters are giving you at mealtime about their hunger and fullness.
- Serve a toddler or preschooler small helpings and let the child ask for more.
- When he or she starts to play with food, becomes restless or sends a signal of "no more," remove the food. Knowing what it feels like to be full — and when to stop eating — helps children learn to eat enough, but not to overeat.
- No more "clean plate club." This practice may encourage overeating or a food aversion — habits that could set up a child for weight or eating problems later.
If your child always leaves food on his or her plate, you may be offering too much food. Give smaller portions to smaller people.