My daughter reached for the plate of chocolate truffles on the kitchen counter (the healthy kind sweetened with dates, of course…) As we talked, I watched her pop one after another into her mouth. “Are you even hungry?” I asked. “You’re eating them so fast, you won’t even notice when you get full.”
Think of how often we eat mindlessly. We eat when we’re bored, when we’re preoccupied, when something just looks too yummy not to eat, or just because it happens to be mealtime. Frequently, we eat way more than we should – without even enjoying it – and then we’re left with nothing but regret.
Practicing mindful eating helps us to truly savor our food. We learn to tune in to our body cues and notice if we’re eating out of actual hunger or just out of habit. (Think about popcorn at the movies.)
Tips for teaching your kids to eat mindfully:
- Ask them to “take their hunger temperature” – to see how hungry they actually are. You can ask them to rate their hunger from 1-10 before they start to eat, and then
- Remind them to use all their senses as they eat:
LOOK – Notice all the colors and shapes.
SMELL – See if they can guess what it is with their eyes closed.
TASTE – Savor it fully.
TOUCH – What is the texture of the food?
LISTEN – How does it sound when they eat?
- Help them get in the habit of describing their food using adjectives (instead of “it’s good” or “it’s bad”).
The more mindful they become, the more descriptive they’ll become. You may even inspire a future “foodie”.
Lynne Goldberg is a certified meditation coach and co-founder of OMG. I Can Meditate!, a mobile and web mindfulness app that can teach meditation to anybody in just 10 minutes a day. Lynne’s simple and clear teaching style has brought the joy of meditation to stressed-out business executives, soccer moms, eighty-year-olds, kindergarten kids, and everyone in between. She is the author of the book Get Balanced. Get Blissed.
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