Bring Mindful Eating for Kids to Your Community
The Discover Mindful Eating for Kids Training Program offers organizations and communities a cost-effective, customizable way to implement and sustain a mindful eating program for children aged 3 through 18. The program is designed to promote a healthy relationship with food and eating, and improve nutritional status by encouraging moderation and variety for all children.
The Discover Mindful Eating for Kids Training Program is based on Discover Mindful Eating for Kids: 75 Activities for Managing Picky Eaters, Overeaters, Speed Eaters and Every Kid In-Between, a book and continuing education course developed by Megrette Fletcher and Skelly Skills, and the principles of Mindful Eating, which were developed by The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME.org). The Discover Mindful Eating for Kids Training Program is offered by Skelly Skills, an accredited provider of continuing education for healthcare and educational professionals.
Mindful eating promotes a healthy lifelong approach to food selection, preparation and consumption. The Discover Mindful Eating for Kids Training Program is a weight-neutral program. This approach allows all children to receive the same learning without creating feelings of guilt, shame or self-loathing. Discover Mindful Eating for Kids does this by teaching awareness, and the ability to explore the emotions and external factors associated with eating. Mindful eating also teaches children to recognize their own hunger and satiety, different kinds of hunger they might be experiencing, and the ability to address physical hunger with food choices that truly nourish them. This empowerment approach to nutrition education is an important aspect of Discover Mindful Eating for Kids training. A healthy relationship with food and eating is the foundation for healthy habits that last a lifetime!
The Discover Mindful Eating for Kids Training Program is a staff-based educational program designed to offer mindfulness training to encourage healthier lifestyle and diet changes for all children. It is unique in the following ways:
- It promotes long-term community-level self-sufficiency in promoting health and well-being, through a train-the-trainer approach.
- It involves parents and other caregivers (including Head Start and other child care providers).
- It provides on-going support and development through mentorship and Champions.
- Base Training in Mindful Eating Techniques for Kids: (Online and Print) Using a live and/or on-demand video format, all constituents are trained in basic mindful eating concepts and teaching techniques, using the book Discover Mindful Eating for Kids as a text. Constituents can be all or some of the following: community nurses, WIC/public health dietitians/nutritionists, school personnel, Head Start/Early Head Start teachers and dietitians, as well as other community-level constituents. Outcome of Base Training: Baseline level of training for all and identification of Mindful Eating for Kids Champions.
- Champion Training: (On-site) Champions identified during Base Training receive an intensive 1-2 day live training, where they will practice and further develop their mindful eating counseling and educational skills for kids. During the training, they will be observed by the trainer, demonstrate appropriate counseling/educational skills, and obtain sign-off from trainer. Outcome of Champion Training: Community-level competency that can be replicated and sustained over the longer-term.
- Communication Resources for Parents: (Online) Parents will be encouraged to experiment with mindful eating techniques in the home environment. eBooks and videos to teach these concepts will be provided in both English and Spanish. eBooks will address specific eating challenges, including, but not limited to: Mindful Eating for Kids: Ideas for Picky Eaters, Mindful Eating for Kids: Ideas to Explore Fullness, Mindful Eating for Kids: Ideas for Adding Vegetables, etc. Objective: to get parents/caregivers excited about mindful eating, with fun, effective mindful eating activities and dialogue the whole family can use at home.
The program also provides for ongoing mentoring and training from the trainer, on an as-needed basis. Customization of training is available as needed and continuing education credit is included for attendees.