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Mindfulness is the concept of being right where you are. When you stop and think about it, being present in the moment with your thoughts and focus brings such peace of mind. When your focus is on the present moment, you can’t be thinking about something that happened in the past (which is gone) or worrying about something in the future (which hasn’t happened yet, and may never happen). I realised I wasn’t finding dinner times peaceful because I was worried about what my daughter wasn’t eating, and trying to find ways to ‘make’ her it eat.
I was off in the future, thinking about her health, wellbeing, growth, immunity…feeling frustrated that I had learned so much about food and how to nourish our bodies, and was offering up all the goodness, but it wasn’t being utilised!! And I believe that our kids pick up on our cues, so our meal times often weren’t the relaxed, enjoyable experiences I hoped for.
And with my anxious vibe, and use of various strategies for trying to make her eat, I was just giving her something to resist and push up against. I certainly wasn’t empowering her to start making choices for herself, to listen to her own body, or to have pleasant and relaxed experiences at meal times.
Learning about mindfulness also led me to explore the concept of joy, and how I want to enjoy each moment of my life. When I really stopped and thought about it, I realised food is one of the true joys in my life. I thought about how amazing it would be if I could turn the mealtimes in our house from the groans and eye-rolls when I mentioned what was for dinner, to a vibe of “how great is food, it’s fun and yummy, and I love trying new foods sometimes”. It seemed ambitious but I felt it was worth trying!
I hoped this concept would help me bring an appreciation of food to our family meals so we could really enjoy these times together. I hoped it would solve my worry about my kids not eating enough of the ‘good stuff’ by improving their relationship with food and opening them up to explore more naturally. This seemed far better than the badgering and my feelings of stress and worry when they didn’t eat their meal. Here are the ways I went about introducing mindful eating within our family.
Introducing mindful eating switched up the way I went about getting my kids to eat more nutritious food. This approach is not only more enjoyable than insisting or convincing or arguing, but has brought me more peace around what they are actually eating (I’m not off in the future stressing that they’re malnourished because they didn’t eat all their veggies!).
As well as leading to more peaceful mealtimes, mindful eating fosters really healthy relationships with food. And alongside the health and nourishment, my hope is that it will lead my kids to see food as one of the joys in their lives too.
Our sustainable range of children dinnerware can help you getting started in your Mindful Eating Journey, you can shop for our products HERE .
This article was written by Jessica Kent, Co-founder and Writer of The Grow Journal. Jessica is offering all of our Blog Readers a fantastic 10% off using code EMONDO10 at checkout!
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