Should children practice mindful eating?
The amazing thing about children is that they kind of already do. We are all born with innate feelings of hunger and fullness that naturally signal us to start eating when we are hungry and stop when they feel full. Promoting and teaching kids the benefit of mindfulness is important because like any other skill – if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Mindfulness helps us become more aware of our experiences and surroundings. It helps us focus on our thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the present moment.
Mindful Eating = Non-judgmental Awareness of Body Hunger and Food Preferences
All children should practice mindful eating because it has many positive effects.
- Helps children become aware of what they are eating and putting into their bodies.
- Supports a healthy mind-body relationship with food
- Allows kids time to appreciate the food that is given to them
- Prevents distracted eating and overconsumption
- Encourages mind-body connection and a positive relationship with food
- Lets kids find more satisfaction from their meals.
Mindful eating is all about trusting our body to make food choices that feel good to us. When we eat mindfully, we pay attention to the food’s smell, appearance, flavor, and even how it makes us feel physically when we eat it.
How do we begin to teach kids to eat mindfully?
- Make mealtime positive and fun!
- Talk about what food can do for their body.
- Introduce them to ALL food groups – Fruits, Vegetables, Protein, Grains (Whole grains), Dairy, and FUN FOODS
- Create a safe and comfortable environment to keep them focused while eating
- Involving children in the preparation of mealtimes – food buying, food preparation, cooking, and eating process
Look out for more mindful eating tips and activities this month!