How to Start Toddlers on their Mindfulness Practice

Life with toddlers can be hectic and overwhelming. Oftentimes, there is so much to do that it is hard for me to be present and grounded. For toddlers, understanding the value in quieting ourselves and finding awareness in where we are and what we are doing is a foreign concept, but it is never too early to introduce the little ones to the importance of a mindfulness practice.

This post was written in partnership with Moms Meet and Zafooz. All content and opinions are my own.

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What is Mindfulness?

According to the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, mindfulness is “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.”

Being mindful helps us to be fully present and allows us to be more aware of ourselves instead of what is going on around us.

The Benefits of Mindfulness

Research shows that mindfulness can help children improve their ability to pay attention, better regulate their emotions and to make better decisions.

For us, mindfulness and deep breathing has been beneficial in calming my boys down when they are upset, which in turn helps them to better express their feelings.

Zafooz meditation cushion

Starting a Mindfulness Practice with Your Toddlers

When introducing mindfulness to very young children, it is important to keep it fun and simple. My twins love their meditation cushions from Zafooz.

Zafooz were created as a relatable way to introduce simple mindfulness practices to children by combining a meditation cushion called a “zafu” with a plush animal. The Zafooz are cushions and breathing buddies in one. All of the designs feature a peaceful animal face to remind children to slow down and focus within themselves.

We have two Zafooz, one for each of my twins. Each Zafoo has its own mantra. Lotus Ladybug‘s mantra is “I am loved.” Mindful Monkey‘s mantra is “I breathe in and smile.” Zafooz are available in four other designs: Bodhi Bear, Tranquil Turtle, Peaceful Panda and Dharma Dog.

Since my boys are still very young and are always busy, I try to incorporate small doses of mindfulness into their daily routines. We like to sit together on the floor of our playroom with their Zafooz. They like to hug their Zafooz or will sit quietly on the cushion for a brief moment. These are simple and quick ways for them to slow down and bring awareness to what they are doing.

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Zafooz – Mindful Monkey and Lotus Ladybug

 

As my boys get older, I hope to expand on their mindfulness practice by introducing them to meditation and breathing exercises. zafooz’s website has great resources for teaching mindfulness to children, including guided meditation scripts and lessons on mindful breathing and body scans. They also have a list of recommended books on teaching mindfulness to young children.

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I hope that mindfulness continues to be a big part of my children’s lives, and we all learn to slow down and be present.

Special Offer

From now until July 22, 2019, save 15% on your own Zafooz cushion by using the discount code breatheBhappy at zafooz.com/shop.

This post was written in partnership with Moms Meet and Zafooz. All content and opinions are my own.

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Summer Grilling with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

Nothing says the start of summer like grilling! Although summer still has not officially started yet, hubby and I have already entered grilling season. We recently moved into a new house and have not purchased an outdoor grill yet, but we do have a grilling pan that we have been using in the interim.

Summer Grilling with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil
Summer Grilling with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

About a year ago, I was introduced to Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil and have been using it ever since! To read about some of my previous experiences with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil check out this post, which details what makes palm oil special, what makes Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil special as well as two of the recipes I made with palm oil:

Cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil 

Grilling at home with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

For dinner, I got out my grill pan and used Malaysian Red Palm Oil to marinate veggies and meat, as well as grease my grilling pan. On the menu were tuna steaks, oyster mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash.

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I sliced the vegetables into long segments and then let them marinate in palm oil, salt and fresh herbs from my garden. I used basil, sage and parsley that I grew from seeds starting this spring. I love having fresh herbs on hand!

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After letting the veggies and tuna marinate and getting the grilling pan hot and nice and coated, I put the veggies on the grill for a few minutes on each side.

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Once all of the veggies were done, I lightly seared our tuna steaks, which were marinated with palm oil and soy sauce. I love those grill marks! Dinner was served and it was delicious!

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I am so happy that I tried grilling with palm oil! To learn more about Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil, visit http://palmoilhealth.org.