A small, randomized study of 1st graders demonstrated that children serving themselves with a full adult sized plate (larger MH900237684plate) piled on more calories than when they used a child-sized plate (smaller plate). Other studies have shown same in adults no surprise. Setting was a typical school-lunch with usually foods provided through the school program, however self-serve style was new to the children. As you would expect if a dish was “liked” more was self served. Study details included weighting each dish, using same size serving spoons BUT a full-size dish was twice the surface area/volume as the child-sized plate and unaware their plates were being weighed.

Yes a set up for more child obesity since children loaded more calories a minimum of 58 calories and if a dish was something they liked more calories! Lesson for parents is a reminder that plate size matters in obesity development in the very young age.