Mindful Eating in Preschool Setting (MEPS) is an intervention designed to prevent and reverse childhood obesity, help children develop healthy relationships with food, prevent the development of eating disorders, and instill early taste preferences for diverse healthy foods. MEPS includes training child care centers’ teaching staff on the basics of mindfulness and mindful eating and its implementation in classrooms. Its main premises are removing all distractions (technology, TV, toys) while eating; bringing children’s attention to foods on the table, and talking about foods’ colors, tastes, textures, and origins; engaging children in table setting and cleaning, serving themselves, and helping their peers (elements of family-style dining); encouraging (never forcing) children to try different foods; ensuring mealtimes are always at a table, using plates – never on-the-go; teaching children to eat when hungry, and not to turn to food in distress or when bored. Staff training consists of 3 1-hour training sessions with a follow-up upon need with workshops and technique demonstrations for further implementation in classroom settings.
Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance
Intervention Type: Direct Education