I am seeing a lot of parents posting questions on how to stop all day grazing, but healthy eating involves small planned portions! My favorite lesson in mindfulness is mindful eating. During our teacher trainings, who doesn’t want to savor a small piece of dark chocolate for a few minutes during professional development? But kids love this lesson too! Here’s a great home or school activity:
- Share one raisin, berry, chocolate chip or piece of cereal with your children.
- Focus on the item for a minute or two. Then, discuss, draw or write down adjectives to describe what they see.
- After washing hands, have the students pick up the food and smell it. Add those words to the list describing how the food smells or feels.
- Now, place the item on the tongue (don’t chew yet!). Be aware of what the item feels and tastes like. Slowly chew and swallow. Let’s add more words to the list about taste and possibly any sound with chewing.
- Discuss who and what was involved in getting that piece of food to their table. This is a lesson in gratitude! One bite of food and you are thanking farmers, animals, the earth, truckers, companies, markets, cashiers and stock clerks, parents, family work/income, and keeping with their family values, children will often thank God. Done in a classroom setting, this is a lesson in respecting others and different perspectives. (Until I lived in a rural area, I had no idea how complex the farming industry is!)
- Remind your children how important this is to do with every bite we eat! We will enjoy our food more and be aware if we are hungry!
Why it matters:
Healthy choices are hard both while we are busy and when we are not on a schedule. Let’s teach our students healthy eating choices and habits! This lesson can also incorporate learning about senses, the five basic tastes, adjectives, focus, gratitude and relationship skills.
Take home bonus:
- Plan your snacks/meals and make a grocery list together.
- Wash your hands before coming in contact any food, drink or prep.
- Prepare food together; so much learning can be done in the kitchen.
- Use reusable baskets, containers or bags to limit eating with individual servings. Label morning, afternoon or evening.
- Have cups and water available for “self-serve” drinking.
- Sit down at a table and enjoy your food and company away from distractions.
- Allow your child to be as independent as possible! Click here for your free worksheet!