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Encouraging the Kinder to Turn Towards CONSCIOUS Eating

By 18 February, 2017 April 12th, 2019 No Comments
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How do you teach your children to eat mindfully???

While sitting around the table eating lunch today, I instructed my 3-year-old to put away the iPad while she ate… with some exasperation in my voice.

“But why?” went her predictable refrain, the daily soundtrack of my life.

I wanted to fire back, “Because I don’t want you to become one of those rude, overly-indulged kids that never learns to make eye contact.”

But instead I decided to think about my reasons and give her a satisfactory answer.

“Because when you’re distracted while eating, you won’t be paying attention to how your body feels so you know when you’re full.”

As I said the words, I realized I could stand to benefit from my own advice.

I realized that while I try to avoid eating in front of a computer or television screen, too often, my mind is distracted with to-do-lists while I eat (that being a subset of ALL THE TIME), and before I know it, I’ve eaten past the point of being full.

When we eat slowly and mindfully, we can enjoy our food more, relax more, and stick to our eating plans.

I vowed to eat more mindfully to model this behavior for my children.

Here are some tips to eat mindfully and teach mindful eating to your kids:

1. At dinner time, put on a piece of quiet classical music or jazz that lasts at least a half hour. Agree to all stay seated and eating until it’s over.

2. Talk about your food with your children while you eat: its temperature, its texture, why you like it, how you made it. “This juicy cantaloupe is so refreshing. There’s nothing I like more in the summer.”

3. Drink two glasses of water while you eat to make the meal last longer and make you feel fuller.

4. Light candles to create a mood of serenity while you eat.

5. Try to be present during the meal. This is the hardest one for me, especially after a day at the office, chalk-full of meetings, projects, and interactions.

How do you practice and model mindful eating?