Mindful eating is the practice of paying attention to the present moment, intentionally and without judgment, with food. Join us on a juicy journey as we explore mindful eating with clementines.
Why Mindful Eating?
Practicing mindful eating isn’t just about savoring the flavors of our food; it’s an experience that can nurture our overall well-being. In a world where distractions abound, taking the time to engage in mindful eating allows us to reconnect with the present moment. By immersing ourselves in the sensory experience of our food, we cultivate a heightened awareness of taste, texture, and aroma. This intentional exercise also allows us to slow down and insert a pause into a daily routine that can often be rushed: snack time or meal time.
Mindful Eating with Clementines
Taking a moment to get curious about your food can be a fun and yummy experience. Join us on a juicy journey as we explore mindful eating with clementines. In this lesson, we’re using clementine oranges; you could also have students use snacks they’ve brought from home.
We can be mindful of anything we do when we bring our full attention to it. Today, we’re going to practice eating mindfully. Do you ever notice that sometimes you eat without really paying attention to what you are doing? Let’s see what it’s like when we eat mindfully.
Before we peel and eat our oranges, take a moment to notice everything you can:
- What do you notice with your eyes?
- With your nose?
- With your fingers?
Invite students to share what they notice with their senses: smells, texture, colors, shapes. Encourage them to notice little details they may usually miss. “Is the orange the color orange everywhere? What other colors do you see?”
Now let’s begin to peel our oranges. How many slices do you think are inside? Let’s peel our oranges slowly, noticing all the movements we make with our hands and fingers to do it.
- What does the peel feel like? What color is the peel on the inside? What color are the slices inside?
- What smells do you notice as you peel the orange? Do you notice if you’re getting hungry?
- Do you notice if you really want to just eat it already?
Now we’re going to eat, but we are going to eat very slowly. You might take a whole minute to finish just one slice. What does it taste like?
Encourage students to share their descriptions of the taste: sweet, tangy, sugary, sour, etc.
Let’s end with a moment thinking about all that had to happen for us to have these oranges. I went to the store to buy them; store workers put them on the shelves and kept them fresh for us; truck drivers drove them to the store; farmers had to grow and pick them; and the sun had to shine to give them nutrients.
Give students a chance to make sense of their experience. It’s the most important part of the mindful moment!
- What was it like to eat this way? Was it different from how you usually eat?
- What would it be like if we ate this way all the time?
- When do you think you might like to try mindful eating again?
After I did this activity with my 4th graders, I gave students the option to write in their journals or draw about the experience including labeling all the details that we noticed while eating mindfully.
Reminder: Mindful eating isn’t just for students! This practice invites all of us to slow down, savor each bite, and tune into the subtle cues our senses provide.