Many of us have grown up being taught “good eating habits” that we’d like to instill in our own children. Some of these cover both table manners and an idea of health…but is the idea of health that our common table manner/habits taught us outdated? Most likely. It can be hard to change some of these ideas, because they’re so socially ingrained, but it is definitely worth a try! Here are some easier bad habits to correct:

We’ve probably all heard the “back in my day” stories about being forced to sit at the table until we’ve eaten all our food. While it’s polite to do your best with what’s on your plate and it’s a great idea to not waste food, your children would do better to grow up learning to start with smaller portions and think about a balanced diet rather than the conventional “clean your plate” wisdom that comes from Depression-era food scarcity. Old-fashioned table manners like this encourage children to eat more than perhaps they ought.

Most of us probably grew up with another of these true-isms: “don’t dawdle at the table,” or “don’t play with your food.” Nowadays we know that eating slowly is better for your health. It takes a while for the brain to process the fact that you’ve eaten enough. If you eat fast, you’re likely to overeat.

“Don’t spoil your appetite” is another rule we’ve all heard -and probably said- hundreds of times. But it’s good to eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than what usually happens: eating a tiny breakfast, a light lunch, and a big dinner. Remember how your brain takes a while to register than you’re full? If you have a snack in between lunch and dinner you’re less likely to end up eating more than you need to at dinner. Just make sure it’s a healthy snack!

Read the entire article here: Formerly Good Eating Habits—Now Bad