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Don't give kids adult portions

Press AssociationPress Association 4/07/2016

Parents are being warned not to over-feed their children after research found around one in 10 regularly serves up adult-sized portions.

The poll of a thousand British parents also found that 79 per cent of children aged one to four are often given more than the recommended portion size for their age.

The Infant and Toddler Forum, which commissioned the research, is warning that parents are increasing the chances their children will become obese.

As part of the study, parents looked at pictures of food to select the portion sizes they give their children, and were asked how often they give children certain foods.

The results showed that around one in 10 parents usually serve their child close to an adult-size portion of spaghetti bolognese or cheese sandwiches.

Overall, 10 per cent of all respondents gave snack portions that were too high.

Some 71 per cent of parents also routinely offered their child a bigger portion of chips than recommended. More than a third of parents gave children a whole bag of chips - nearly twice the recommended amount.

Almost half (45 per cent) also offered chips two or three times a week, 17 per cent offered them four to six times a week and six per cent gave them to their children every day.

The research also showed that 65 per cent of parents routinely offered too much fruit juice, and 24 per cent of parents gave children a whole pack of jelly sweets as a treat (three times the recommended amount).

Some 73 per cent of parents said they were worried their children do not eat enough while only a quarter (25 per cent) worried their child might become overweight in the future.

More than a third (36 per cent) of parents also admitted they use food or drink as a way of calming children down when they are upset.

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