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The Powerful Question Every Parent Needs To Ask Their Child During Meals

A dietitian writes that how children eat is almost as important for their future relationship to food as what they eat.

“While learning to like a variety of nutritious food is important, how children eat is just as important. Research shows that as kids get older, they gradually lose their ability to regulate their food intake, meaning they eat too little or too much food for their body type. In other words, babies and young toddlers are better at regulating their food intake than school-age kids, and school-age kids are better than teenagers. Oh, and adults are the worst of all!”

“A great place to start helping kids tune into hunger and fullness is to ask them: What Does Your Tummy Say? This is especially important at meals or anytime they ask for more food or want to leave the table. If they are hungry for more, by all means let them eat more. If they are not hungry for more food, by all means let them eat less. But the key is to let their hunger and fullness cues guide their eating; not cleaning their plate to get a reward or bow out of eating because they’d rather snack later.”

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