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!