We have a very interesting relationship with our food. One would hardly pay attention to it, but more often than not, our relationship with food plays a very important role in the shaping of our life. Our parents can be held responsible for it to a certain extent, but it is on us to be more reflective, observant and mindful of our relationship with food.
Raising kids is not easy, but by giving in to their demands makes kids take life for granted. They are so cushioned that they end up living inside a bubble, harboring fears and insecurities. As parents you wouldn’t want their bubble to burst, but like everything else inevitable in life, they are made to face reality soon enough.
While raising kids right is a whole other topic together, but the food given to them is quintessential in shaping them. How? A child is just experiencing taste-buds. He/she is developing their connection with all 5 senses. The taste sense is particularly their favorite. Chocolates, fries, lollipops, pizzas, burgers – these are commercialized as tasty foods but are not nutritive in nature. Of course, a child will love them, especially if adults love them too!
Are you one of those parents who spoils their children with ”treats” every-time you want them to listen to you? Are you convincing your children to eat vegetables first so they can enjoy their ice-cream later? Are you mis-leading the child to convince them that ”yes i know this food tastes bad but you have to eat it like medicine?”
How do you think this helps developing their relationship with food? These same children grow up not valuing the food being put on their table. They always expect the most tastiest version of food to be presented to them, totally undermining the effort, cost and time put in to bring the food to their table. These same kids grow up to be fussy. They have extreme likes and dislikes and will not want to eat certain kinds of food, not because their body is intolerant to it, but because their mind is. There’s a difference. These same children grow up ridiculing some food and only leaning towards eating a certain kind of food. These same kids grow up only depending on their taste buds and not on the wholesome impact of food on the soul of their being.
This brings me down to asking you – what according to you is or should be your relationship with food?
Are you eating food to be thin? To have a sculpted body?
Are you eating food to satiate your guilty pleasures?
Are you eating food because you’re bored?
Are you eating food because for all your life you have been stuck in a routine to eat lunch and dinner at a particular time and now you don’t really know why but you end up indulging in the same habit over and over?
Your relationship with food needs to be as strong as your relationship with yourself. You need oxygen to breathe, water to stay hydrated and facilitate blood flow, and you need food to provide nutrition to sustain the longevity of your body.
If you have any preferences to eating food, then it must be indulged only on particular days. Do you have a choice of what kind of oxygen you are breathing? Or what brand of water you are drinking? At home, you filter your water. You breathe the air in your surroundings. Then why aren’t you eating a wholesome diet? Why is your food not a proportionate mix of calcium, carbs, protein, vitamin and fat?
If you look at the choices you have made while eating in the last few days – reflect on them and check yourself now so that you can guide your children to respect and appreciate whatever is given to them. Make them truly ”enjoy” the taste of green vegetables from their childhood so they grow up genuinely appreciating it and everything else they eat to balance their diet.
Think about your relationship with food and truly start humbling down whenever you eat your food. Mindful eating is that process of eating food when you have a healed and beautiful relationship with food. When the food you eat contributes to your well being. When the food genuinely does it’s job of providing nutrition, and not just feeding the empty voids in your being. When food is not an excuse, not an intake due to boredom nor a futile process – but it is a reward for your body, a gift for your continuous inner and outer beauty.
Savor the moment – enjoy your meal.