Teach a Kid to Taste Classes

Check our calendar of events for the next Teach a Kid to Taste Class.

“Teach A Kid To Taste”  

Class offered for parents and kids ages 4 – 7 years

Sponsored by: Slow Food Pittsburgh** www.slowfoodpgh.com      

Mindful eating within a Family:   This means developing a healthier relationship with food and eating and bringing eating into balance with other important aspects of life…eating slow…eating food that is clean and fair good in a way that is enjoyable and allows members of the family to have pleasure eating and sitting around a table.   Things to consider:  

1.    Children have a natural internal nutritionist that tells them what and how much to eat.  Little kids who are provided with a variety of foods on the tray of their high chair will eat the appropriate types and amounts of each food.  The catch is that they will not eat in a  balanced way in one day, but over the course of a week. a.    Don’t be concerned about cleaning plates…help children to connect with their “internal nutritionist”… “Is your tummy saying that you want more food?  Is your tummy full?”

2.    Have at least one congenial family meal a day.  Relaxed atmosphere with each person sharing the events of the day.  Eating and anxiety are not a healthy pair. Eating and a sense of ease are.

3.    Let children help you to prepare the meal. Talk about where the food comes from, colors, textures, earth, sun and rain and many people helping to bring food to the table.

4.    Begin family meals with a simple grace.  It could be just holding hands and bowing heads to say thank you for all who brought this food to the table.  Pausing helps teach children not to bolt their food and run.

5.    Experiment with new foods and drinks.  Try fresh apricots, pineapple or dates….explain to children where the food comes from, color, texture, etc.  Experimentation helps children explore the vast world of  different tastes and not collapse into a steady diet  of boxed macaroni and canned ravioli.

6.    Be creative with food!  When one boy’s mother told him that  broccoli is trees for dinosaurs to eat, he spread the story to his entire elementary class!

7.    Talk about the benefits of each food, ex.  Milk has calcium and builds strong bones.

8.    Play the “how full is my stomach game”.  Ask children to check in with their stomachs before, halfway and at the end of the meal…is it empty, full or all the way full?  This helps them and you stay in touch with body signals of fullness and not overeat.

9.    Don’t be too rigid about junk food.  If you kids have been raised on home cooked organic food and they have a McDonald’s hamburger and cola at a birthday party, it’s not a tragedy.  It’s a cross-cultural experience.

10. Help children to discern the difference between actual physical hunger and emotions such as boredom, fatigue and anxiety.  Help them learn to work with real solutions to these emotions, using activities such as exercising, playing a game, reading a book, doing crafts, and connecting with friends.

11. Everyone’s deepest hunger is for love and connection. Loving words are vital to our health. Loving words are a way to feed the heart that does not involve food.  If you want your family and friends to feel well nourished, give them generous helpings of genuine expressions of gratitude and affectionate words.  “I really appreciate your…”  “When I am with you I feel…”   Mindful eating in a family means making a good mixture of these basic ingredients: eating as a family, pausing, slowing down, having fun, experimenting, being curious, exploring new tastes, and bringing the flavors of kindness and love to your meals.  

Resource:  Food for Thought, a quarterly newsletter from the CENTER FOR MINDFUL EATING.  www.thecenterformindfuleating.org   The above excerpt was taken from the newsletter, available on line on mindful eating and the family written by a pediatrician, Dr. Jan Chozen Bays, MD  http://www.thecenterformindfuleating.org/Resources/Documents/FFTSummer2013Family.pdf  


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