Slow Down!

Family Health, Nutrition
on May 1, 2009
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Q: My seven-year-old son is a speed-eater. How do I get him to slow down?

A: If your youngster's eating habits give new meaning to the term "fast food," you may have to get creative to reduce his need for speed, says pediatrician Dr. Laura Jana, co-author of Food Fights. Try serving meals in courses instead of lumped together on one plate (save their favorite foods until last) or start with super-small portions, then give seconds as needed. If you want your kid to slow down (and serve as dinnertime entertainment), try replacing forks and spoons with chopsticks. Whatever your method, it's best to break them of their hurried habit sooner rather than later: Although no research has been done on the subject yet, Jana believes kids who shovel their food may be more prone to weight problems as adults.