Did you know beavers eat rhododendrons?! This little guy has the right idea… take a good sniff before you eat!
Our tongue can only taste 5-6 flavors, but our nose can detect a trillion smells! So, it’s no surprise that taking time to smell our food helps us eat mindfully. Some aromas we like and some we don’t… and taking the time to recognize this is another way of being mindful when we eat.
Smell, taste, and enjoy!
Before Miro eats, he likes to spend a little time thinking about where his food was grown – did it grow in his garden, on a big farm, or in the ocean? Will the food grow back again quickly, or will it take a long time?
Sustainable eating is the new trend (and hopefully a lasting one), but how do we eat healthfully AND sustainably? Mindful eating can help.
Thinking about where our food comes from, encourages us to appreciate the work involved with growing/preparing our food. Being mindful in this way helps us choose foods that nourish our bodies and our planet.
Eating vegan/vegetarian is more sustainable (meat production uses a lot more land), but if you do eat animal products, try eating less. If you like eating from the sea, look for sustainable seafood options. Creating less food waste also helps!
Worms are good for birds and Miro likes to think that birds enjoy slurping them down.
You may not be a bird and you may not enjoy eating worms, but choosing food that is both mentally and physically satisfying is part of eating mindfully.
When we take the time to eat and try a variety of new foods (and no, I don’t mean worms – though they are not off limits and some cultures eat bugs regularly), chances are, we will learn to enjoy heathy nourishing foods.
Miro’s friend, Mr. Dragon, likes eating fish because his mom always prepared it on special occasions. He especially loves the flavor and texture of flame-grilled trout.
When eating mindfully, we become aware of the interconnection between the environment, our cultural practices, and our food choices.
Trust your inner wisdom when making food choices and accept that each eating experience is unique.
We experience different food textures with our lips and tongue, but first, children tend to explore texture with their hands (and then their mouths). Exploring food with our hands is definitely okay, and part of eating mindfully.
Miro always touches his food first – he likes to see if his food is firm, squishy, hot, cold, or something else!
A big part of eating is anticipation – enjoy all the aromas that come before a meal!
Miro often knows what’s for supper before the food is on the table… thanks to his nose. He loves the smell of grandma’s soup, dad’s grilled cheese sandwiches, and mom’s chili!
Eating mindfully includes paying attention to your body – sensing whether you are still hungry or feel full.
Miro is small, and so, he can only fit so much in his belly. He usually stops eating when he is full, but when eating something he really likes, he takes an extra bite or two.
The important thing is to respect your own decisions without judgement. Sometimes you might decide to eat a little extra because you want to, and that’s okay.
When eating (and drinking) mindfully, we use all of our senses.
Miro is a young little guy, but he really knows how to experience a glass of water. He can’t help but splash himself when drinking. He loves the cool feel of water on his face, his lips, and on its way down to his belly. Sometimes, he might spill on his clothes, but that’s okay… he’s still learning how to drink from a big-boy cup.
Young eaters are still learning about the world when they start eating. Food ends up on the floor, in their ears, in their noses, and (thankfully) in their mouths too. Letting children explore food in their own way helps them appreciate the eating experience.
Miro loves peas. They are the perfect size to hold, they roll across a room, and they bounce like tiny balls. They taste pretty good too!
Mindful eating is about taking the time to eat – to pay attention to your food, your feelings about food, and your food choices.
Miro loves colorful food. He feels extra silly after eating beets, usually because he’s painted himself purple in the process.