Thank you Perdue for sponsoring this post.
As a mom, it is my job to make sure my kids understand how to be good stewards. This extends beyond the four walls of our own home. Knowing that I’m going to be sending them out into the world, I want to be sure that they understand what it means to truly care for the resources we have. I’ve done a lot of thinking over the last several years about how to teach kids about mindful eating. The changes we’ve made as a family because of this have been so important.
I never used to think much about where my food came from. My mindset shifted once I became a mom and started to think about the world I wanted to leave behind for my kids.
One of my kids is very sensitive and loves animals, so he has lead the way when it comes to the food that comes into our home. With him, I volunteer locally in animal rescue and it has helped me feel more compassion towards animals and helped all of us take more thought towards humane animal treatment across the board.
Over the past few years, we’ve worked on mindful eating. We’ve tried to implement the following few key things in our family and they have made such a difference in our mindset.
Teaching Kids About Mindful Eating
- Slow down. Our meals were getting very rushed. We are busy. Meals tend to be fast. We’ve made a real effort to slow down. We eat dinner together as often as possible, wait for everyone to come to the table before we start eating, and slow down the meal as a whole. I’ve talked to my kids about chewing their food slower and savoring it. I know that I feel more grateful for my food when I do that and it makes the entire meal feel more relaxing.
- Remove all distractions. Mealtime should be something that is enjoyed. Getting kids in the habit of participating in mealtime, actively, rather than eating in a space that is filled with distractions is something that will serve them well as they grow up. We don’t allow electronics, books, or homework at the dinner table. We are there to enjoy our food and talk together.
- Say “Thank You”. I’ve tried to encourage my kids to say “thank you” anytime someone prepares food for them. It’s a good habit for them to get into in general, and it helps them to consider the work and sacrifice that was put into their meal. Before we started doing this, I’m convinced that my kids thought food just appeared on the table. Now they are more grateful and the cook (whoever it might be for the night) feels more appreciated.
- Know where your food comes from. As we became more mindful eaters, I started to care more about where our food actually came from. Not only do I want to know that our food is safe and healthy, but I want to be sure the animals are treated humanely.
Perdue® is helping with our mindful eating habits because they are working hard to raise their chickens in a more forward-thinking way and creating best practices that everyone can feel good about.
One of the ways they are doing this is by following the “The Five Freedoms” for animals, a globally accepted standard for animal husbandry.
5 Freedoms for Animals
- Freedom from hunger and thirst.
- Freedom from discomfort.
- Freedom from pain, injury, or disease.
- Freedom to express normal behavior.
- Freedom from fear and distress.
I think we can all agree that these five freedoms are things that all living things should enjoy. I loved learning about how Perdue is adding windows to all their chicken houses to make life for their animals more pleasant. To make sure they are constantly improving, Perdue hosted their 3rd Annual Animal Care Summit in Salisbury, MD on July 11 and 12, 2018. During the summit, they brought together animal care experts, advocates, customers, farmers, and Perdue leadership to have an open dialogue about the latest advancements in animal care.
I’ve seen some wonderful changes in my own family as we’ve tried to be more mindful at the dinner table and in our lives. I love knowing there are companies out there, like Perdue, who have similar goals.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.