This month we’ll be celebrating families and framilies. Spending quality time with our loved ones brings joy to our hearts which is why it is so important to take the time to celebrate all of those special relationships. Did you know that socializing with family and friends can promote healthy eating habits? It does! When we are sharing meals together we are so attentive to the present that we are mindful of the activity that we are doing. This makes us more aware of our satiety signals and reduces overeating. Mindful eating is a great tool to build a healthy relationship with food so this month we are sharing strategies to successfully incorporate mindful eating practices at your family gatherings.
3 Mindful Eating Strategies for Your Family’s Dining Table
Sitting down at a table surrounded by your family members and delicious food to share, is that perfect time to communicate, laugh and learn from one another. Many studies have shown that families that eat meals together tend to have stronger family bonds and a lower risk for obesity, especially those that incorporated mindful eating into their shared meals. Mindful eating is the act of connecting with your food and environment, making you aware of your body’s satiety signals and this way avoiding overeating, which usually comes from being unmindful and distracted by another activity. We know how easy it is to get distracted especially during meals, which is why we want to share these strategies with you and your family.
3 Mindful Eating Strategies for Family Meals
- Experience Before Sitting: incorporate all your senses before that first bite. Do it while cooking (even if you are just reheating leftovers or having takeout) pay attention to all the smells, textures and colors. Get all the family involved in the process of preparing the food, setting the table, lighting some candles or playing a nice background music. The environment should be enjoyable for every member of the family. This step will set the mood by making everyone feel comfortable and valued.
- Do It “Family Style”: this food style is where the meal is served at the center of the table and everyone gets to serve their portion on their plate with the food that they want in the quantity they decide. This is an amazing mindful technique for portion control and promotes a healthy relationship with food by not being forced or feeling pressured on eating things that they don’t like. Now, I know that for those with little ones, it seems obvious that they would skip all the veggies but, leading by example and allowing them to make the decision will help them build a healthier relationship with food for the years to come.
- Disconnect that Device & Connect with your Body and Family: everyday we are more dependent on our phones and computers. These devices make our lives easier but we can disconnect with our surroundings easily while using them so, in order to assure that you and your family’s full attention is dedicated to spending time while enjoying that wonderful nutritious meal, it is best to keep the devices off and away from the dining table.
Mindful eating can strengthen your relationship with your family and food at the dining table. Both of these relationships are important for a healthy body and mind so be sure to apply these strategies on your next family meal and let us know your experience!
Mindful eating is the act of connecting with your food and environment, making you aware of your body’s satiety signals and this way avoiding overeating, which usually comes from being unmindful and distracted by another activity. Check out our blog post where we share 3 great mindful eating strategies for family dining.