In other words, children who are overweight should be given smaller portions, while thinner children should be given larger portions. To me this is closing the stable door once the horse has bolted.
The last situation you want to be in as a parent is to have two children, one overweight and the other 'average' and have to give the overweight child a smaller portion of their dinner whilst their sibling tucks into a much larger meal.
How is this going to affect the overweight child? Surely it is going to set them up with all kinds of psychological problems in the future. They will feel completely singled out and deprived, and quite possibly develop a bad relationship with food later on.
At the same time, the other, thinner, child could also be damaged by this difference in treatment. They in turn could become complacent about food and feel they are immune to its negative effects such as weight gain, only for it to catch up with them later.
On the face of it what nutritionists are saying is sensible advice. Of course it is wise to reduce a child's portion size and encourage them to eat healthier food in order for them to lose those extra pounds.
But I really believe that families should do all they can from the very beginning to instil healthy eating habits in their children so it does not need to get to the point of children having to slim down. Anything like dieting seems an alien concept for children to have to deal with when they are still growing and developing.
Children need to be educated about food from the very beginning as soon as they understand what is going on at the dinner table. Similarly, getting them into the kitchen and helping prepare the family meal will help them see what is going into the dish.
If from the very beginning they know what is healthy and see junk food as a treat rather than an everyday occurrence, then parents need not ever get to the point where they are having to restrict their children’s eating.
Also plenty of exercise will help children's overall health. If youngsters learn that they will be able to eat more food if they run around and burn off plenty of calories, this too will set them up with a good attitude later in life.
Too often in families where a child is overweight or obese, the parents are obese also. Whole families need to start looking at their eating habits in order to prevent bad habits being passed onto the next generation. Even in families where only one child is overweight and the parents are not particularly large, they more often than not are eating the same unhealthy food and so even if they are not fat on the outside, they may well be just as unhealthy as an overweight person on the inside.
I do wish people with a voice would come at a problem from the right angle. Saying that parents should match dishes to the size of their children is completely the wrong way to approach the problem of obesity in children.
Nutritionists should be using their authoritative position to make it clear parents must educate their children about healthy eating from the earliest opportunity. Or they should go back even further then that – prospective parents should be encouraged to look at what they are putting into their own mouths.