If you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard remarks like this during dinner: “I don’t like milk! My toast is burnt! I hate vegetables! I took a bite already! What’s for dessert?” It can be daunting trying to ensure a healthy diet for our children. So it’s no wonder parents often resort to dinner time rules.
In our new poll, with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, 25 percent of families tell their children to eat everything on their plate, and 45 percent report setting restrictions on the types of foods eaten. Increasingly common are rules like “clean your plate,” as well as newer strictures such as “no second helpings of potatoes,” “no dessert until you eat your vegetables” and “sodas and chips only on special occasions.”
This is all well-meant advice. But does it work? Kelly Brownell, who directs the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, says, “No.”
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