Childhood Obesity! Is it an Eye Problem?
As a baby you are fed everything you is til you master the motor control of your hands and arms. Then everything you can see and reach is put into your mouth. This is the first lesson in learning what is “good” and what is “Not so” good. First we eat with our eyes, then we eat with our mouth. This has been true since time began. If it looks good, we’ll taste it. If it tastes good, we’ll eat it. So childhood obesity. Is it an eye problem?
How many times have you been walking thru the grocery store, suddenly you find yourself in the bakery, OOH look at all the wonderful goodies! You clench your eyes shut and push your basket as fast as you can. Leaving the bakery you find yourself at the deli and there’s a trout lying on a bed of ice…staring at you with that one eye! There are many more examples of this, but as you shop your eyes show your brain what appears to be good eating and what needs a little work.
Your children are no different than you. Given the choice they will take the doughnut over the fish head any day.
There’s a term in the culinary world that has become popular lately called “plating’. It inspires professional chefs to create what they think of as “edible art”. Advertisers use a similar thinking in packaging their products. It’s all designed to be pleasing to the eye.
Here’s some tricks you can use at home to help you visually change how you look at food.
• Use smaller plates or plates with small basins and large rims – this makes the food appear 50 per cent bigger than it is.
• Serve soups, salads and cereal in small sauce or mixing bowls instead of large cereal bowls- this will help you keep within the serving proportions and not over eat.
• Color plays an important role in this process too. The powers that be have found that people who eat from black or dark color plates eat less and are more satisfied than people who eat from other colored plates.
• A plate of macaroni and cheese can be made healthier and a real eye pleaser by adding diced yellow, green and red peppers
Along with the handy home tricks it helps to have an idea of what portion sizes are for the food you serve on these little black plates and bowls.
•3 oz of meat, fish, or poultry = deck of playing cards
•2 tablespoons of peanut butter = golf ball
•1 oz of cheese = four dice or a tube of lipstick
•1 cup of potatoes, rice, or pasta = tennis ball
•1cup of fruit = baseball
•1/2 cup of veggies = three ice cubes
If you are a sports fan it should not be too hard to remember the portion sizes, but if you are remember I did not mention “basketball” anywhere in this article.