Gov’t Dishes Out Advice on Preparing Healthy Meals: Always Use Bowls or Plates

By Penny Starr | June 1, 2012 | 4:05pm EDT

(AP Photo)

( – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is offering tips for planning a healthy meal for your family, including telling parents to use bowls and plates for meals instead of eating directly from containers.

The advice is found through a link on the HHS Web site’s home page to the “Let’s Move” Web site, which promotes first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity. “Let’s Move” is listed as one of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s “Key Initiative” sites.

“Measure out standard servings and always eat from a bowl or plate,” the “Let’s Move” Web site advises on its “Plan a Healthy Meal” page. “Eating from the carton or bag makes it easy to lose track of your portions and can cause you and your family members to have too much.”

This advice is provided under the “Eat Together as a Family” portion of the page, which also advises: “Eating together is also a chance to model good behavior and regularly scheduled meal and snack times help kids learn structure for eating.”

(AP Photo)

“So, keep the television off and spend time eating and talking together around the table,” the advice states.

The Web site warns against forcing children to “clean their plates if they are full” and says that the recommended plates and bowls should be smaller “at home.”

"In the end, as First Lady, this isn’t just a policy issue for me,” Michelle Obama says on the “Let’s Move” site. “This is a passion. This is my mission.”

“I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition,” Obama said.

The other key initiatives on the HHS list include Web sites for Obamacare, bullying, Medicare fraud, food safety, federal health insurance for children, and the Web site HHS states is designed to make the agency’s operations “more transparent to the public.”

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