Teaching Young Children about Mindful Eating
It’s not news that too many people today struggle with weight gain and obesity, including our children, who are getting less and less physically healthy at an alarming rate. There are many reasons for this problem, including a lack of exercise, easy access to inexpensive high-fat foods, and a lack of access in some areas to healthy food options. But there is another reason, and it’s distraction. While many families have done a good job at maintaining family mealtimes, during which everyone sits at the table and interacts with one another, we all know that we spend too much time eating while doing things that keep us from focusing on our food: watching TV, playing on our phones, and even reading. When we’re distracted like that, we’re not paying attention to what goes into our mouths and when our bodies are full.
Royal Fireworks Press is pleased to offer young children a new book that can help them to appreciate what they eat. The Epic Journey of an Orange teaches kids ages 4-7 about the incredible effort it takes many people to get a simple orange from seed to table. Understanding that process gives children a new perspective on their food and allows them to explore that food with a newfound awareness: how it tastes, how it feels, how it makes them feel once they’ve eaten it. When they do this, it enables them to slow down and eat more mindfully. After all, the more we can do to be present in the moment, the better we feel about what we’re doing as we do it, and that can prompt us to make healthier choices.
Now more than ever, as many people are stuck at home, bored, looking for distraction, we need to make sure that our children appreciate what they can do to help take care of themselves—both their bodies and their minds. Mindful eating is one such way of doing that.
Don’t miss our other books on mindfulness for young children: Breath Magic and The Secret Code of Senses. Each book offers a different area of focus to get kids thinking about the control that they have over their emotions when they pay attention to what their bodies are telling them. The books in our Eastern philosophy curriculum are also a great resource to help young children stay happy and healthy from the inside out.