Cornell University is well known for its behavioral economics studies. Click here to learn more about their work in the child nutrition arena. Recently they determined that at buffets, folks filled up 2/3 of their plate with the first 3 foods they saw on the buffet table. Think about this at your holiday events. Check out the whole buffet before you go for what's at the beginning. (Besides, don't you hate it when your plate is full and then you come to something really good?)
Researchers suggest putting healthy foods at the beginning of a buffet makes it more likely people will choose them and less likely people will fill up on the higher calorie foods thus placed farther down the buffet.Try this at home with your dinner spread. Serve from a counter in the kitchen, don't put large serving dishes right in front of your diners. It makes seconds a little too easy. Lay out your dinner choices on the counter with the veggies first, entree next, grains last. Remember My Plate, make half your plate fruits and veggies.
Let your children walk along the counter with you and suggest how much of something they would like. You might not know how hungry they are or are not. And please, no "clean your plate" club. But yes, they have to try a little of everything, including the veggies.
If you fill your grocery cart with the healthy stuff, and you plan your menu with the healthy stuff, and your choose the healthy stuff for your snacks, you will have less room in your healthy life for the unhealthy stuff. Right?