Mindfulness and the Art of  Chocolate Eating!

If your families are anything like ours and our staff members at Ripple Effect Gifts, you will spend most of the year rationing the amount of sugar we allow our children to have. And then suddenly, for one weekend a year, it is a Chocolate Fest! And our job as health conscious parents gives way to a few days of chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!

Most of us have had the experience of watching our children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren skipping happily around the garden, searching excitedly for the eggs left by the Easter Bunny. Fast forward a few hours and there are usually one or two of the little ones who have overdone their consumption and are tired and maybe even grumpy! And maybe, not only the little ones.

So, to make your Easter feast a little less like the Vicar of Dibley……….

Vicar of Dibley copyright BBC

…… we suggest the following mindfulness activity. We have used this with children as young as 4 and have been surprised and delighted by how engaged they are with the idea.

Approach the exercise with an open mind and a gentle curiosity. There are no rights or wrongs, just individual experiences. This should take around 3-4 minutes.

You will need small bars of chocolate enough for each person.

To start with, allow each child to eat a small amount of chocolate, without any instructions. Most children will eat quickly and without really concentrating on what they are eating.

And then, with another piece of chocolate, follow each one of these steps, asking the children to listen carefully.

Consider the wrapper – Does the wrapper make a sound?

What colour is it? What does it say? Where did it come from?

Open it slowly – Do you feel a sense of anticipation, or an urge to immediately put the chocolate in your mouth?
What physical sensations do you have? What emotions are you feeling? Just note them. Look at the chocolate.

Consider its texture, colour, weight… Smell it – does the smell trigger any other senses?

Where do you feel your sense of smell?

Place the chocolate in your mouth but DO NOT EAT!!

How does it feel as it melts? Where in your mouth can you taste it? What is the consistency? What is happening with your mouth, teeth, tongue, lips as it melts?

Move the chocolate around your mouth Does the area of taste change? Does the taste itself change? What is happening to it? How do you feel?

Swallow it, focusing on the sensation. Is there a lingering taste? How do you feel physically and emotionally? Take a little while to consider the experience.

How was this different from your other eating experiences? More intense? Frustrating? More pleasurable? Were you more aware of your emotions during the exercise? Would this change your future experience of eating chocolate? Why?

It is important that the answers given are accepted without judgement. All responses have value.

Ripple Effect Gifts and Dawn French wish you a very Happy Easter.





With thanks to Meditation in Schools for the basis of the mindfulness activity.

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