Most parents can align on one thing: They want their kids to eat well and enjoy their food. That means a healthy relationship with food: listening to hunger and satiety cues, learning to accept and love different foods, and eating for enjoyment—not just fuel.
Unfortunately, everything from friends at the table to frustrating conversations about homework can get in the way. And though very young children are intuitive eaters, things change when kids hit preschool age. “Kids start to eat for external reasons, such as boredom or because their friends are eating,” says Lesley Langille, lead counseling dietitian at The Centre for Family Nutrition in Calgary. “We see these patterns continue as kids turn to teens with more emotional eating.”
That’s where mindful eating comes in—and it can be a game changer.