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Print this page and post it near your dining area. As you move through the exercise together, consider the idea that mindfulness and gratitude often go hand in hand! Gratitude is a resilience-builder; it offers perspective that can help us through tough times.

Beyond the exercise on this printable page—which encourages the whole family to slow down and notice, savor, and appreciate food—there are other ways to practice gratitude and mindful awareness as a family.

  • As you sit down to eat, take a moment to talk about your gratitude for the healthy food you have, and for those who helped get it to our plates. You might say, for instance, “I’m grateful for the things we have, and I have hope that someday soon everyone will have an easier time getting the food they need to stay healthy.” Or “Our bodies are amazing and deserve healthy and nutritious food. We’re worth it, just as we are!” You might also mention that you’re grateful that your family has this food, which helps bodies stay healthy and strong.
  • As you enjoy a meal, tell children that what we put in our bodies matters—it affects our overall health and well-being. Talk about the healthy food you’re eating as you eat. Help children name the food groups you are eating from (vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy; try to eat from all 5 over the course of a day). If you know the specific benefits of each, share them! (for instance, fish has oils that are good for our brain, salad has fiber which keeps our stomachs working well, and eggs have protein, which helps kids’ muscles and bones grow and become strong).
  • Talk about your day! What was one thing you did today that was good for your body (for instance, eating a healthy food or playing soccer)? How about for your mind? (taking a nap, playing with a friend, taking deep belly breaths, reading).

Special thanks to the team at the American Academy of Pediatrics. For more tips, click here.