Can I Teach My Child To Be A Mindful Eater? Let’s break this down a little. What exactly is a mindful eater?
Most of us know the term mindfulness, it has become quite the buzzword. We know that it means to be consciously aware; of ourselves, our surroundings, and the way in which we experience the world. So how can this concept inform and shape the decisions our children make around the foods they eat?
How Can I Teach My Child To Be A Mindful Eater?
Teaching our children to be mindful eaters helps them create respect and a deeper connection with food, which in turn encourages them to create a healthy, long-term relationship with food.
Where to start the art of mindful eating?
1. We can start by explaining to our children what exactly mindfulness is and laying the foundation for why mindfulness, in general, is so important.
2. Then, on the back of that, we can guide them in using their senses to explore the world of food in a positive, engaging, and thoughtful manner.
- Taste – What flavor does it have, is it salty or sweet, is it both? Does the flavor change?
- Sight – Discuss the colors and shapes. Do the colors change? Use the example of a Bell Pepper, and how the colors change during the growth period.
- Smell – What does it smell like? Describe the smell by comparing it to other food items.
- Touch – When you hold it in your hand, what does it feel like – bumpy, rough, prickly, or smooth? Then, when you eat it, is it crunchy or soft or chewy, etc?
- Hearing – when you crack it, cut it, squish it, what sound do you hear?
By using our senses we can explore the world of food in a creative way, growing our child’s knowledge but also their vocabulary.
3. By encouraging them to be part of the process, drawing up menus, shopping for ingredients, cooking, and baking together.
4. By setting the table and eating together, being the example of good eating habits, and creating family traditions around mealtimes.
5. Before beginning the meal, we should remind our children to be thankful for the meal they have. Teach them about where the food actually comes from, and how it’s produced (it’s bizarre that so many children – and perhaps even adults – consume food without ever thinking beyond the grocery store).
6. Speak to them about what hunger means, explaining that sometimes we might be peckish, and that doesn’t require an entire plate of food, maybe just fruit, yogurt, or a healthy snack.
7. To eat without distractions, put the cell phones down, turn the TV off.
8. To savor the moment, take time between mouthfuls, put the forks down whilst chewing. Having a conversation between bites.
9. Let them dish up for themselves, explaining why portion sizes are so important and why we need to understand the food pyramid.
10. Discuss how incredible the entire process from seeds to harvest is.
Eating a meal should be a savoring experience, not just an energy-inducing moment.
For more tips on how to have fun in the kitchen with your little sous chef visit, www.n4hk-esar.com.
Disclaimer: This is a paid partnership with Nestle – Nestlé for Healthier Kids
Did you enjoy How Can I Teach My Child To Be A Mindful Eater let me know in the comments below, or pop over for a read at Cooking With Your Child An Act Of Love or have a look at this awesome recipe Frozen Fruit Lollie
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