Before you grab for that extra cookie, let's work to practice mindful eating this New Year! It is the notion of being aware and engaged with your own actions, thoughts, feelings and motivations while you're eating. It is the practice of basing meals around actual hunger rather than emotionally.

Even when we know what healthy eating looks like, sometimes life gets in the way. Ever scarf down a meal in the car between meetings, or plead with your child to "eat one more bite?" Life can sometimes interfere with our natural ability to sense when we are hungry, stop when we are full - making it all the easier to overindulge and gain weight.

The trick: decide to slow down and enjoy your meals, free from distractions.

A few ideas for family resolutions this year:

1. Eat at the table as often as you can
2. Make mealtime the main event - no phones, computers, TV, etc.
3. Slow down. The old rule is: it should take you as much time to enjoy the meal as it did to make it. Take the time to pay attention to diverse flavors and know your food (where does it come from, how was it prepared, etc.).
4. Make mealtimes fun. Skip the "yes and no" questions or acts of discipline. Instead, work to share funny stories and happy memories with family and friends.
5. Abolish the Clean Plate Club. Membership should not be mandatory and can teach children to ignore their senses. The real test - if a child is truly hungry they will say yes to healthy foods (apples, carrots, etc.). If they are only hungry for cookies that's a good sign it is a craving.

Be Well,