Mindful Eating for Children: Eat Meals Together

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

Mindful Eating for Children: Connecting with Nature

“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

Mindful Eating for Children: Regular Mealtimes

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

Mindful Eating for Children: Minimize Distractions

“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”  Zen proverb

Minimize distractions.

Most of you will know exactly what I am talking about from just reading the title. However, I am going to add some examples just to get you thinking in a broader sense of all the ways distractions might be getting in the way of mindfulness. Continue reading

Mindful Eating for Children

I think of mindfulness as the act of being present and mindful in every moment. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines it as “paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”

As adults we know the value of sitting down to eat, focusing on our food and limiting distractions. But, how often do we eat in the car or while checking email? How often do we see toddlers running around the playground with their little snacks? Continue reading