Mindful eating is not a diet. It’s a positive habit associated with eating slowly, making healthier choices, paying attention to the taste, texture, smell and sight of food and stopping when the body signals it’s had enough.
Mindful eating helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system which helps activate digestion. If they digest their food properly, they are more likely to break down and absorb nutrients which directly impacts their overall health. However, the benefits of mindful eating go well beyond the table.
Here are some of the key benefits. Mindful eating helps children to:
-feel more satisfied after a meal as they are more likely to notice when they are full
-learn how to focus, relax and notice how emotions affect their bodies
-learn positive coping skills that helps kids thrive socially and academically
-make healthier food choices. When kids eat for physical reasons instead of external reasons, they’re more likely to make better choices
Here are a few simple mindful eating activities parents can do at home with children:
Sensory exercises. Tell your little one to pay attention to how the food feels, looks and smells. Can they describe the smell, flavour and appearance?
Take a break. It’s challenging for busy families to be mindful during the entire meal. One solution is to pause every few minutes and re-focus on the food and sensations in your body.
Remove distractions. Set a positive eating environment by having meals at the table, turning the television off, and making the table a no-phone zone.
I am a registered Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and specialist in Clinical Paediatric Nutrition. If you are interested in starting Nutritional Therapy for yourself, your family or your child then please contact me for more information/FREE discovery call or you can check out my services on my website.