Eating at a buffet is lots of fun, especially for kids. Children get very excited about the different choices they are offered at a buffet. For some, the idea of “all you can eat” is thrilling. How can you help your child navigate a buffet without going overboard? Read on for ten simple guidelines to help your child eat at a buffet without sabotaging his diet.
1.Don’t sit/stand around the buffet. Make your child’s plate and then move away from the table. Looking at the food will only make your child want to eat more.
2.Choose a small plate. Give your child a large plate and you are giving your child the opportunity to load on the food. If possible, use a dessert or salad plate so there is less room to load up on calories.
3.Consider starting with a plate of salad and fresh vegetables. Once your child is done with the salad, then make your way to the buffet to pick your main course options.
4.Try to fill half the plate up with something healthy, like grilled vegetables or fruit. This also limits the amount of room for fattening fare.
5.Look before you serve. Walk around the buffet with your child and decide what she will eat before you fill the plate. Figure out which foods she likes most and stick to those. Don’t put unnecessary dishes on the plate.
6.Pick one unhealthy dish and stick with that. If you know your kids want to have an unhealthy dessert, make sure the rest of their meal is healthy. Don’t take little bits of many different unhealthy dishes because the calories add up quickly!
7.Try to avoid crispy, crunchy, and creamy foods. These foods tend to have lots of fat.
8.Buffet foods often contain lots of sauce. When you spoon food onto your child’s plate, try to take as little sauce as possible. When possible, pick food from the top of the pan as opposed to the bottom of the pan. Food at the bottom of the pan has been sitting in the most butter, oil or sauce and has likely soaked much of it up.
9.Encourage your child to eat slowly. Don’t let him shovel his food into his mouth. Teach him to focus on his food to fully enjoy the flavor.
10.Stick with water or seltzer for drinks. Avoid Shirley Temples and regular soda as they are just unnecessary calories.
Follow these simple guidelines and you can enjoy a buffet without sacrificing your child’s health!