– According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, parents would be well inspired to let their children as young as 2 years old serve themselves at mealtimes. For its part, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that child care providers serve “family-style” meals to children, allowing them to choose what they prefer to eat among a few different dishes.

– Today, a majority of parents and child care centers still serve pre-plated meals to young children. One problem is that adults overestimate how much food children need and so tend to be too generous when filling plates. Letting kids serve themselves has many benefits, in particular during the preschool and kindergarten years – a decisive period to develop good eating habits.


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