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Here are three key reasons why mindful eating is important for your children and how you can teach it to them, easily.
What I Want My Children To Know About Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is very important for children. Here are some reasons why and some ways you can teach it to them easily.
Lately I’ve been dreaming of greens
Not the imported ones packed in plastic bins. I’m talking about baby spinach with soil still clinging to its roots. The glorious colours of rainbow Swiss chard. Bunches of kale the size of a bouquet.
For many years my dad used to plant and tend a huge vegetable garden. I remember going out every day to check the rows and see what had come up. When the lettuce was big enough, we would cut some tender leaves, still warm from the sun, and eat them drizzled with vinegar and a sprinkle of white sugar.
Although my own children have never had a such an abundant garden, we have had some fun growing our own food, and getting to know other people who do. One year we grew a living teepee out of scarlet runner beans. Another season we were overrun with heirloom tomatoes. We regularly visit farmers markets and get to know the growers. I am struck by how my kids readily eat all sorts of vegetables (even ones they would turn their noses up at in the grocery store) if they feel some connection with the person who grew them.
Maybe someday we’ll have our own big garden, but for now my goal is more modest.
First, I want my kids to be grateful.
Sometimes before meals we play a little game. We pick a dish and try to imagine every step it had to go through to come to our table. Who planted the seeds? Who looked after the plants? Who harvested and packed the vegetables? Who drove the truck? You get the idea. When we have imagined for a while, we say thank you for everyone and everything that made our meal possible.
Second, I want my kids to see the bigger picture.
One of our favourite cookbooks is Simply in Season: Recipes and Inspiration that Celebrate Fresh, Local Foods. Not only is it full of great recipes, it also contains plenty of thoughtful stories that help us see more clearly the ways our choices about food have an impact on the environment and people around the world. There is even a version for children (Simply in Season Children’s Cookbook).
Third, I want my kids to make wise choices about what they eat.
As a frugal mom, I have to think carefully about my food budget. But the question of cost is always bigger than it seems. Here are some other frugal parenting posts you might enjoy.
It’s not just, how much will this cost me, but what will it cost everybody?
We used to get an organic green bin delivered to our home every week. When I raved about it enthusiastically, people often asked whether the bin really saved me any money. Of course not. The truth is, I paid significantly more for the organic vegetables in my green bin. But I knew who grew them, and where, and how. I knew a farming family was getting a fair wage. I knew my vegetables had not travelled more of the world than I have. I knew they were good for my children. They tasted fantastic. And paying a bit more made me even more careful not to waste them.
That’s what I call a good investment.
Author: Laura Alary Google
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