Activity 5: Mindful Eating
Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Two types of fruits or vegetables (see Preparation)
- Cutting board and knife
- Trays or plates for serving
- Newsprint sheet(s) with list of body practices from Activity 3
- Optional: Microphone
Preparation for Activity
- Check in with participants ahead of time to find out whether any of them have food allergies or sensitivities.
- Choose two types of fruit(s) or vegetable(s) that all participants can eat. The directions below use strawberries and carrots, but you may substitute others. Obtain enough for each participant to have one of each.
- Wash the fruit(s) or vegetable(s), slice them if necessary, and arrange them on the trays or plates. Use a separate tray or plate for each type of fruit or vegetable.
Description of Activity
Invite everyone to move silently into a circle and sit down. Bring out the trays or plates of carrots and strawberries.
Pass the strawberries around. Invite each person to take one and to slowly and silently chew it. Encourage participants to take their time, to chew thoroughly and deliberately, to try to fully and deeply experience all the flavor and texture of the strawberry. Encourage participants to think of the earth, the sun, the water, the air that nurtured this strawberry. Encourage them to taste the sunlight in their strawberry.
When everyone is done, pass the plate of carrots with the same instructions. When everyone is finished, sound the bell.
Engage the group in discussion:
- What was it like to eat such simple foods in silence?
- Could you imagine ever eating a whole meal like that? Why or why not?
- Having had the experiences of moving meditation and mindful eating, can you now think of other body practices in addition to those listed earlier? (Add these to the newsprint sheets from Activity 3.)
Including All Participants
This exercise can be adapted to accommodate food allergies or issues. Participants with braces, dentures, or missing teeth might have trouble eating carrots, apples, or other crunchy fruits and vegetables. Others might have trouble with berry seeds. Use your creativity to come up with substitutions for the suggestions here.
Using a microphone for this activity helps more people hear your instructions.