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How do you teach kids portion control and making the right choices as in choosing healthier over not healthy foods.

I try to talk about it all the time, and make suggestions.
They over eat at meals going for seconds, saying they are still hungry.
They will take any money they have and spent it one candies, ice cream, slush.
How do I clamp down without making them feel bad and hurt their feelings?
I think I'm going to start by getting a box and collect the junk and then.....(do what with it)
even snack crackers, granola bars, cereal bars


Asked by QandA at 12:04 PM on Jul. 11, 2010 in Diet & Fitness

Level 26 (26,827 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • They can't eat what you don't provide them....don't keep junk in the house....don't offer seconds....if they are still hungry they can have fruit or veggies. NO soda!! (or at least limit it to a treat once in a while)
    If they can't be trusted with money-put it in a savings account for them....
    exercise exercise exercise....throw them outside (lol).
    I think it's all about moderation. I don't deny my son any dessert/snacks but I limit it.

    Answer by connorsmom1970 at 12:09 PM on Jul. 11, 2010

  • How about making a family exercise night or adding a salad to dinner I had to do that with my 19 year old and when I started to eat better or I started to like it more he and I made it into a life change he started to help cooking the meals and we both started losing weight. GL Momma


    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 12:09 PM on Jul. 11, 2010

  • She's five, and I just keep telling her when she makes a good food choice. I don't focus on the weight part, just the health part. It's good for the heart not to eat too much junk.
    I allow her one junk snack a day. All other snacks have to be healthy choices. I think it helps that I don't cut out the junk, just limit it. All other times, she can eat what she wants, when she wants so long as it's a good food choice. She doesn't eat much at actual meals because she spends the day snacking on left over chicken, carrots, strawberries, bananas, apples, grapes, broccoli, celery, yogurt, stuff like that.
    She's always been a "grazer" and eaten small things throughout the day rather than three big meals and one or two snacks. I figure if it's healthier for an adult to do that then it's fine for a kid to do it too.
    Try letting them snack more on healthy stuff and they won't be as hungry at mealtimes.

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 12:11 PM on Jul. 11, 2010

  • I don't buy junk, so therefore they don't eat it... At supper they have a good choice of veggies, and I only make healthy foods, so they don't know what it's like to not eat healthy.. They look at McDonalds and say YUCK, Who would want to eat there, just the smell when you drive by one is enough to make all of us gag...

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 12:11 PM on Jul. 11, 2010

  • I'm dealing with this too. My son barely he eats- says he isn't hungry, so I'm not worried about the portion control. But then he always has room for dessert. If he doesn't finish dinner he gets no dessert. Of course it's not that simple and he spends half of the night whining and arguing about it. He also tries to spend every penny at the store across the street buying candy and ice cream- I feel like it's a constant battle. Hopefully someone here will have some good suggestions!!

    Answer by skittles1108 at 12:13 PM on Jul. 11, 2010

  • I don't have junk food in the house and we are always taking about good food choices, eating until you are full and *sometimes* foods. My kids are 6, 5 an 2 and my older two are pretty good with knowing what is healthy and why they cannot have stuff that is not on an everyday basis. They also know that exercising is very good for you. I think leading by example is the best way as well.

    Answer by buzymamaof3 at 1:00 PM on Jul. 11, 2010

  • Great question! I have been gaining a lot so I really want to quit dr pepper and fast food (the evil drive thru) altogether which will surely igve my kids a better role model in the process, and they will ave less french fries as well.

    Answer by txdaniella at 2:20 PM on Jul. 11, 2010

  • unless they are fat, you shouldn't portion control. Kid's bodies naturally tell them how much to eat. By forcing them to eat when they are not hungry or not allowing them to eat when they are, you teach them to ignore their own cues, which becomes the breeding ground for dietary problems.

    As far as the junk, let it run out and don't buy it.

    Answer by lovinangels at 3:24 PM on Jul. 11, 2010

  • I agree, if you don't buy it, they can't eat it. Restricting all treats will make them crave it even more. Try the book Deceptively Delicious, it's filled with resipes that sneak veggies into meals and snacks. Another good resipe book is How To Cheat On Your Husband In The Kitchen, the same concept. They think they're having a treat, you know it's healthier. There is a company that puts fruits and veggies in a capsule or a tasty gummy, another simple way to get more fruits and veggies into your kids (and you). Juice Plus is good stuff. They body will crave more of what you give it, give it more fruits and veggies and the body will want more. Look into the gummy's for your kids. Go to and click on videos. There is one by Dr. William Sears, he loves Juice Plus and recommends it to his patients.

    Answer by wellnessgirl at 3:41 PM on Jul. 11, 2010

  • We don't have junk foods in the house.

    Instead of serving "family style", fix plates for everyone. Only allow second helpings of fruits and vegetables.

    What you don't want to do, is use foods as rewards or punishments, as this can lead to eating disorders (boys get them, too). Say things like: kiwi will give you more energy to run and play.

    Answer by rkoloms at 5:57 PM on Jul. 11, 2010