More meals in smaller portions could be the best solution to keeping your child's weight down with summer slowly approaching. A team of researchers set out to establish the relationship between the size of tableware and the amount of calories kids took in during a meal.

According to its data from 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that one third of children and adolescents were either overweight or obese.

Overweight is defined as a buildup of excess body weight compared to a particular person's height; obesity refers to the accumulation of excess body fat.

Both are the result of a caloric imbalance- when the calories the body has taken in aren't used they accumulate causing weight gain.

In a study featured in the April 8 edition of The American Academy of Pediatrics journal Pediatrics, researchers examined 42 first graders during their lunchtimes. During a four day period the participating students used child-sized tableware and during a separate four day period they used plates and bowls that were twice the size, Reuters reported.

Children who used larger plates and bowls tended to serve themselves more food in one sit in compared to kids who used child-sized tableware. Kids who used larger dishes were also likely to eat 50 percent of the calories they were served.

"The results are very interesting and confirm our expectations that the impact of plate size on adults in the laboratory also apply to children," Dr. Thomas Robinson, a childhood obesity researcher at Stanford University in California, told Reuters Health in an email.

"This study provides very important preliminary evidence that using smaller dishware may help reduce children's energy intakes."

Dr. Robinson and his associates did warn that these findings were preliminary and that more research was needed to mark a definitive connection between tableware size and caloric intake.

Appropriate steps to preventing weight gain such as regular exercise and healthier food choices should not be ignored.