Mindful eating for the holidays

Build healthy habits for you and your kids to practice year-round

A holiday table can be filled with all of the things kids love to eat: macaroni and cheese, stuffing and don’t forget pie, cake and all sorts of sweets. It can be easy to overeat on a day meant to celebrate with family and friends. Why not use the holiday season to start practicing a healthy habit, such as mindful eating?

Mindful vs. mindless

Mindless eating is eating just to eat. If you’re eating while watching TV or using your phone, or eating just because you had a bad day at school or work, that’s mindless eating. How do you start eating mindfully? By being aware of where, why and what you’re eating.

Here are some habits you and your family can use to get started with mindful eating:

Portion control. It’s not just the holiday season that can cause us to eat too much. You can still eat foods you enjoy and have special treats within reason. Just eat smaller portions and less often.

Fruit & Boot Camp

One-hour workshop at the Frazier History Museum
Dec. 2 • 10 to 11 a.m.
Purchase museum tickets to register.

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Eat when you’re hungry. If you or your child isn’t hungry, wait until you are. Don’t wait until the stomach is growling, though, because that can cause overeating. Also, just because food is there does not mean you have to eat it. Ask your child about why they are eating when not hungry. Also consider if you’re modeling good eating habits for your child.

Plan. Prepare and have healthy snacks on hand throughout the day. A little planning can help your budget and keep your family eating healthfully.

Enjoy your food. Eating too fast can cause burping, acid reflux, heartburn and stomach discomfort. It also puts you at risk for overeating. Putting your fork down while chewing and taking a drink between each bite can help your body tell your brain that you are full. Also do not eat in front of the TV or computer, even if there’s an important game or show. If you’re doing something else while eating, you’re not enjoying it as much as you could and you’re more likely to lose track of how much you’ve had.

Want to learn more healthy habits?

Join Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness on Saturday, Dec. 2, 10 to 11 a.m., for “Fruit & Boot Camp,” a workshop to get everyone in your family excited about healthy living! The event will be held as part of the Frazier History Museum’s “Hope and Healing: Celebrating 125 Years of Norton Children’s Hospital” exhibit.

The one-hour workshop is designed to teach you and your school-age children how to eat right and stay active together. Adults and kids will practice making a healthy food item and participate in a fun fitness activity that the whole family can enjoy. All physical fitness levels are welcome! Children must be age 5 or older, and one parent or guardian must be present and participate with every two children registered.

The workshop will be held in the first floor Marshall Charitable Foundation Education Center at the Frazier History Museum. Tickets for the workshop are $8 per person, which includes admission to all museum exhibits.

Make sure to stay and walk through “Hope and Healing: Celebrating 125 Years of Norton Children’s Hospital” on display!