• Su-Nui Escobar, MS, RDN

Mindful eating for the little ones

Updated: Dec 14, 2019

Mindful eating creates an environment to help your children eat in a healthy and happy way.

Feeding our children mindfully is a tool that will help them cultivate a positive relationship with food for a lifetime. It will help them grow aware of what they eat, where they eat it and how much they eat. Such skills can help in healthy eating, weight management and control of disordered eating. Mindful feeding can also help small children with impulsivity and created a more relaxed and happy meal time environment.

In children, mindful feeding has been associated with increased consumption of vegetables, fruit and high-fiber foods. It has also been linked in the reduction of sugar consumption.

Parents who use mindful feeding often have healthy foods at home. Even more important, parents who feed mindfully, respect and teach their children to respect their levels of hunger and satisfaction. As simple as this, parents can create a happy and pleasant environment for eating and a life-long positive relationship with food.

The components

Exterior environment

  • Create an attractive space to eat. It is important to sit on a clean and clear table.

  • Remove stimuli such as television, telephone, books and toys.

  • Create rituals that help you child know that it is time to eat. For example, washing their hands, playing soft music and seeing up the table.

  • Eat meals as family.

Internal environment

  • Let go control. Our job as parents is to provide healthy food for our children, but we can not force them to eat. The more we force the food, the more resistance we will find.

  • Understand the signs of hunger and satisfaction in our children. Children are born with ability to regulate the amount of food they need in a 24-hour period. It is important to help them not to lose that ability by forcing them to eat or stop eating according to our criteria.

  • Be a role model. This is the best way for them to eat what you want them to eat.

  • Most important, focus on the meal time and enjoy! You build healthy relationships with your kids one meal the time.

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