Adults may find it intuitive to choose larger portions of dishes, like salad, and smaller amounts of filling foods, like pasta or meat, when assembling a meal. But do children have the same common sense when it comes to portion sizes?
A new study by researchers at the University of Bristol suggests they do, and that parents can take advantage of this in order to help kids limit their snacking.
"Presenting children with a wide variety of different snack food products may make it difficult to predict their fullness. Our study suggests that if parents choose to give snack foods to their children, they may wish to stick to the same products," said co-author Charlotte Hardman.
In order to reach their conclusions, the researchers had a group of 11- and 12-year-olds complete a computerized test that asked them appropriate portion sizes of certain snack foods and how often they consumed them.
They found that kids typically chose appropriate amounts of the snacks that they were familiar with, a reflection that they could accurately estimate how full they would feel after eating.