Mindfulness is a practice that encourages us to fully experience life with all five senses, our emotions, and internal thoughts. Nutritionist and children’s book author, Justin Noble, as well as creative writer Le-Anne Noble, both help us understand why practicing mindfulness, inspired from Buddhism, is a great way to help your kids eat healthy in just 3 ways. Mindfulness helps us open our senses, and exposing foods to kids through all of their senses rather than simply taste will spark their curiosity to try new foods.
1. Invite your kids grocery shopping
When shopping for healthy foods in the produce section, bring your kids along and encourage them to pick out fruits and vegetables they have never tried before. Make observations about that fruit or vegetable together- feeling the texture, the sound when you rub it or thump it, the smell. Then, have them tell you what they are experiencing. This will allow them to open up their senses and encourage them to try the sense of taste.
2. Encourage your child to join you in preparing dinner
Open all of your senses as you make your dinner- listen to the sauce as you stir, or the chopping of vegetables into your salad. Allow your child to try the ingredients along the way, experiencing how different foods go together and change flavor as they are added together. Encourage them to help you mix or prepare the foods. Making them a part of the preparation and cooking process of what they are about to eat will make them more excited to eat!
3. Make mindfulness a game
Kids cannot resist a fun guessing game. Have your child taste a spice or herb and try to guess what part of the meal you put it in. Or have your child try to guess what ingredients are sour, sweet, salty, bitter, etc. Blindfold them and see if they can guess what vegetable or fruit you have by using their different senses.
By opening up all of their senses to different foods, your kids will be more and more curious to try new, and healthy foods!