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vjoliv0's picture Vanessa Oliver, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian
College or Department
Lancaster Aquatics Center, room 170
Email Address

Hey guys, it's Karen here. I am not addicted to Chex Mix, but someone else in my family thinks they are! After a recent camping trip, we had some leftover Chex Mix hanging out in the pantry. My 9-year old son found it during his lunch break from online school. I heard him downstairs with a rustling bag (why do they make those bags so dang noisy?!?!) and figured he found it. Anyways, I didn't think much of it, but after a few minutes he shouted "Mom, I'm addicted to Chex Mix!" Whatever I may think of his self-awareness (or lack thereof), I have to give him credit in this instance. He totally understood that he was somehow out-of-control or overdoing it. And he literally cried out for help :) Unfortunately, these are things that we, as adults, are not always so good at doing.

As soon as my son said that, the dietitian in me took over. I asked him "Are you eating it out of the bag?" Research tells us we are more likely to overeat something when we eat it out the package, so our unofficial house rule is to portion food out into a bowl or plate when you want to eat. I have never explained it that way to my kids, just tried to set the example and they usually follow. But this time, my son was eating the Chex Mix out of the bag, so this partially explained things, I said to him "Why don't you put some in a bowl and put the bag away?" His response was priceless. "Well Mom, I'll just keep going back to get more bowls." I can't argue with his logic, but we all know that creating that obstacle for yourself (having to go back to get more) is amazingly effective in helping to manage portions.

And while we don't necessarily want people to measure and weigh every morsel of food they eat, portion management is a tricky thing for many folks to manage. Many of us are out of touch with our natural hunger and fullness cues, and need some help to get back in touch with them. My son's experience made me think that we can all use a little reminder about how to manage portions in a way that honors our natural hunger and fullness cues.

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