Written by Sandra Harris, ECOlunchbox Founder
The fast pace of our lives makes eating mindfully tough. Oftentimes, we resort to mindlessly grabbing a quick bite in the car while we’re driving to work or taking our child to their soccer game or music lesson.
Slowing down to enjoy lunchtime and all your meals is a fantastic step to being more aware of what you're eating and how much. One in three children in the United States are overweight or obsese, putting them at risk for health problems that were once only seen by adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
To inspire healthy eaters of all ages to eat more mindfully, ECOlunchbox has put together a list of its Top 5 Mindful Eating Tips.
1) How much is too much?
Start by learning about portion sizes. If you’re eating something out of a package, check the nutritional label’s recommended portion size and noted caloric value. Eating fresh foods and cooking at home? Ask your doctor for portion control guidance and check out Dietary Guidelines for Americans put out by the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services.
2) Measure twice, eat once.
Once you know your desired portion, then pick a non-toxic food container that’s the perfect size to fit your perfect portion to make meal planning quick and easy. Stainless-steel ECOlunchbox containers, for example, are a great healthy choice since information about capacity is readily available on the company’s website. Glass containers are another healthy option. Still unsure? Use a measuring cup!
3) Learn to “ballpark” portion sizes.
Estimate your food portions relative to known objects, nutritionists advise. For example three ounces of cooked meat, fish or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards.
- ½ cup is the size of an ice cream scoop
- 1 cup is the size of a tennis ball
- 1 ounce of cheese is the size of a domino
- 2 tablespoons is the size of a ping pong ball
4) Plan ahead DIY single-serving packs.
If you’re a busy mom or executive, plan ahead and pack lunches and snacks ahead of time. For example, dedicate 15 minutes on Sunday evening to pre-pack your meals.
Re-portion into reusable food containers snack-sized quantities of healthy dry snacks; nuts and dried fruits; carrots sticks and other cut up vegetables, dips (like hummus, yogurt, tahini); and leftovers (like meats, soups, pastas or rice). This way when you grab and go, you’re sure to make mindful choices.
5) Variety is the spice of life!
Dietary variety is one of the core principles of nutrition. Have fun with your food choices. Mix it up!
Dieticians recommend that we eat appropriate portions of three of the five food groups at every meal.
Several ECOlunchbox containers are designed to fit three food groups, such as the ECOlunchbox Three in One, Trio Bento and stainless steel divided trays. Pack each of the three sections with a different food type and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re covering all your bases nutritionally.
Hope these 5 tips are helpful in keeping you healthy. For more healthy-eating inspiration join us on Instagram.