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One of the best things you can teach your children is to enjoy all aspects of their life in a mindful way. Mindful eating is just another way of saying that you focus on what you're experiencing right now in terms of your meal. These mindfulness lessons can begin by practicing mindful eating with children.

* No Screens at the Table – Don't bring your devices to the table and don't let them bring theirs. More than likely if you simply never do it, they won't even try to do it either. If you set up meals as important and part of the family life together, it'll become a healthy habit that you all stick to and enjoy.

* Turn Off the TV – It doesn't help to turn off the devices if you turn on the television instead. It is nice to enjoy shows with the family, but there is no reason today to turn it on during dinnertime. Today you can record and watch any show later. Keep mealtimes for meals and catching up.

* Turn the Music Down – Having some background music on can set the mood, but keep it low enough that you can enjoy good family time conversation. Give time for each child and adult to tell something about their day.

* Get Everyone to Help Plan and Prepare – When everyone has a part in planning and preparing meals, it makes it a lot easier for the parents to get it going, but also makes it more enjoyable and important to the kids. Even a first grader can set the table.

* Eat Together Often – Try to shoot for eating together more times than you don't. If evenings are hard, do it in the morning. You don't have to do it at the times that are set by society either. You can do this with your family on your own time that works for you. By prioritizing meals together, you are teaching your children how important good meals and family are.

* Provide Table Manner Examples – You don't want to spend the entire dinner harassing your kids, but it is a good time to teach table manners. Most manners are taught by example. Use good manners yourself and gently correct kids when necessary, and they'll catch on fast.

* Point Out the Food They're Eating – To bring more mindfulness to what is happening right now, namely eating good food, point that out to your kids. "This delicious broccoli is making me strong because it has so many vitamins and minerals. Plus, it's it pretty! Do you like this color of green?"

* Don't Eat on the Run Often – This is really hard to do when you have kids in sports and after-school programs. However, when you make eating in the car too normal, you take away the importance of the meal. You make it seem as if it's not important and is, in fact, an afterthought to eat at all.

When kids are responsible for helping plan and put together a meal, they're going to be more likely to like participating in the experience. The example you set now about mealtimes is an important one. If you show that mealtimes are important and should be treated as such, it is likely they will continue to value mealtimes throughout their lives.


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