Having trouble getting your kid to behave at the dinner table? New research shows that you might be able to avoid this by cutting their food into bite-sized pieces rather than serving things they have to use their front teeth to bite into.
This is the results of a study led by Cornell Food and Brand Lab professor Brian Wansink, published in Eating Behaviors, which tested children in the age group 6-10 years old. Those who had to bite with their front teeth, such as on drumsticks or corn on the cob or apples, were twice as likely to disobey adults and twice as aggressive toward other kids who chewed food which was served in bite-sized pieces. Wasnik notes:
When children need to bite into food with their front teeth, they are more likely to get rowdy! The bottom line for parents is this: “If you want a nice quiet, relaxing meal with your kids, cut up their food.”
The takeaway here is biting versus chewing. Food that children have to chew is what the researchers believe makes them less aggressive, while food that they have to bite into with their front teeth makes them misbehave.