'Cleaning your plate' may lead to bad eating habits - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

'Cleaning your plate' may lead to bad eating habits later in life

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You can't leave the table until you've cleaned your plate.  That's what many of our parents told us every night at dinner, but new research from the University of Minnesota says that may not be the best policy to keep your kids healthy.

"We found that between 50 and 60% of parents from our sample reported requiring that their child eat all of the food on their plate at a meal," said researcher Katie Loth, the study's lead author. "Further, we found that between 30-40% of parents from within our sample reported encouraging their child to continue eating even after their child stated that they were full."

The effect, researchers say, is that some children don't learn to listen to their own hunger levels, and instead are more influenced by outside cues on when and how much to eat.

Investigators think parents should worry less about kids cleaning their plates or having the occasional cookie, and focus more on overall weight and encouraging children to eat all foods in moderation.

"Parents should also work hard to model healthy eating and a healthy relationship with food to their child" by eating a well-balanced diet, Loth said. 

For more health eating ideas, check out the Health Page right here on FOX28.com.

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