MINDFUL EATING IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR CHILD FROM A YOUNG AGE
Mindful eating is all about slowing down and enjoying each and every morsel of food that you put in your mouth. It is a practice that helps you to appreciate the taste, colour and flavour of the dish. But that’s not all — savouring every bite during eating prevents us from overeating or impulsive bingeing, helping stave off many issues, that may later arise. Mindful eating is a very simple task but many adults find it quite difficult to practise. However, as a parent if you inculcate the habit of mindful eating in your children from an early age, it can help them make better choices at the table and form a positive relationship with food.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE ART OF MINDFUL EATING.
Tip 1: Do not force feed a child. Instead, make meal time a fun activity. If you have a toddler, use this time to slowly introduce new items into his/ her diet. If you use food as a reward or punishment, children will either run away from food and eat in a hurry or indulge too much into comfort food.
Tip 2: You can sometimes spruce up your meals by introducing new vegetables and fruits that your child hasn’t eaten before. Ask them to describe their taste or texture or share with them some interesting facts about these foods. These activities encourage children to pay attention to what they are eating.
Tip 3: Teach them to pay attention to inner clues like hunger pangs, cravings and stomach fullness. All these clues will help them to avoid impulsive eating. Remember, what you teach them now will shape their lifelong eating habits.
Tip 4: Mindfulness is all about concentration and can be practised only when there are no distractions. Therefore, make sure meal times are devoid of TV or mobile phones. Before commencing any big meal, spare a moment to be thankful for the food you have on your table. This will not only make your child more mindful, but will also grow a sense of gratitude in them.
While putting these tips to use, don’t forget that children have their own unique personalities. Guide them but allow them to make their own decisions with freedom. This is important if you wish to achieve your goal of introducing them to mindful eating and mindful living in the long run.
At iSpark, we practice and encourage mindful eating, helping your child make healthier choices in life!