A big component of creating health throughout our lives is our ability to align with nature. Children are the same way. Showing them the cycles of nature and how to connect are very important ways we can teach children how to guide their own health.
A lot of people ask me what I give children for snacks. My answer may take a bit of re-conceptualizing about what a snack really is.
I actually don’t even like using the word snack. In my mind, every time a child eats, it should be thought of as a meal. It may be a large meal or a small one, but it’s still a meal. I have them sit down and focus only on eating. I emphasize grains and vegetables way more than fruit. I also stay away from dry, crunchy things. Sure, children love them. But, I can do better than that. Running around on the playground with a baggie full of puffs is only going to lead down a road of mindless eating, poor digestion and blood sugar issues. The same thing so many adults suffer from with our irregular eating habits, eating on the run and at the desk while working.
Sit Down to Eat.
I remember my mother reminding us to sit down to eat. Most of our meals were at the kitchen table. I think she was mainly worried about choking, but there are more reasons to sit down to eat. When our body is actively moving around, standing and doing different tasks, we are focused on action and divert energy away from tasks such as digestion. Healthy digestion requires us to take the time to sit, relax and be still during our meals. Physically and mentally. Continue reading
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Eat Local and In Season.
It’s natural to become more mindful the more we connect with nature. By eating local foods that are in season, our bodies adapt to our climates and we connect more with the area in which we live. We also become more mindful about the rhythms of the seasons and the increase in active and expansive energy in the summer and the inward reflection of winter. Most children are still naturally connected to these rhythms. Continue reading
Set meal and snack times.
Regular meal and snack times can help promote even blood sugar levels and consistent energy. It’s hard to be mindful when blood sugar levels in the body are going up and down. Our bodies thrive on rhythm and predictability. Some children can go longer between meals than others, but if a child needs to eat more frequently than every two hours, something is off. They need some help getting back into balance. Continue reading