Portion-size fact factory

When we were cavemen we didn’t know where the next meal was going to come from, so our bodies were programmed to eat until they we were completely full so the food would last as long as necessary.

These days, we usually know when we’re next going to eat so we should ignore the urge to eat until we’re completely full and instead we should try to organise the day around three regular mealtimes.

What goes on inside when we eat too much

Eating too much can lead to a few nasty things happening in our kids’ bodies which can affect them in later life. Why not have a look at the diagram below together? It might help show them why it’s important to eat well now.

Digestion diagram
1. Tummy
This is where the food goes when we’ve just eaten it. If we eat too much, our tummies expand, which can be a bit uncomfortable.
2. Heart disease
Carrying more fat than our bodies need makes it hard for our hearts to cope. It has to work harder, and this can make us tired and more prone to heart disease when we’re older. It’s a bit like having to run around carrying a sofa all the time.
3. Stored fat
If we eat too much it turns into fat and just sits in our bodies being gloopy until we burn it off.
4. Type 2 diabetes
If we eat too much sugar, the extra energy it provides can be stored in our bodies as fat. This can increase the risk of us getting type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

Keeping your kids’ portions under control

Here’s some more useful tips to help you make sure you’re giving your kids the right amount of food.

Smaller bowls

Cereal bowls can be much bigger these days, and we may fill them to the top without thinking about it. But remember the kids are copying us. So why not start using smaller bowls?

Brain power

It can take several goes over a period of time before you brain decides you like it, so don’t let the kids give up on broccoli or anything else that’s good for them.

Slowly does it

It can take a little while for the signal which tells us we’re full to get from our tummies to our brains. So if kids eat more slowly they won’t eat more than they need.

Kids' portion problems solved

Easy ways to reduce fat

Join Change4Life

How are the kids? Are they active enough and eating the right stuff? Find out instantly when you join.

Join for families