I love this one! It’s such a fun and yummy way to introduce mindfulness meditation to kids. They will most likely love it, so go ahead and try this fun meditation for children.
It’s called “The Raisin Meditation,” but you can use any dried fruit or pretty much anything else edible. Raisins are great for this exercise because they are so common and unexciting. Having said that, I bet you haven’t tasted a raisin like this before.
See how much more there is to the experience when you really pay attention–when you are fully immersed. “The Raisin Meditation” is a great way to show your child how paying attention can change the way we experience the world.
This exercise is a tactile and fun way to introduce mindfulness that engages all senses, all while enjoying a healthy snack! The point of the raisin meditation is to take something small, that we take for granted, such as a raisin and experience it purposefully through all of our senses.
Conscious attention applied slowly has a calming, awareness building and relaxing effect. Eating mindfully can help us to digest better and studies suggest that mindful attention helps regulate the amount of food consumed.
In one study, the researchers wanted to know if people who ate mindfully ended up consuming more calories because they enjoyed eating more, or fewer calories because their improved attention led to greater behavioral control. Take a guess!
This is what they found out: Mindful eaters consumed significantly less “junk food” and total calories than the control group. The control group (not mindful) consumed 48% more calories. The study concluded that an undistracted sensory focus can increase eating pleasure and even help people regulate the type and amount of food consumed.1
Mindfulness Meditation For Children – The Raisin Meditation
Purpose: Mindfulness, Sensory Awareness, Gratitude
Best for: Ages 3+
What you need: 1 raisin (or other dried fruit).
The raisin meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness through the process of eating. You will need to verbally guide the child through this meditation.
At first, it’s probably a good idea to model the process yourself to show the child exactly what to do. You can “think aloud” when you model the process, but when it’s the child’s turn, have her keep her thoughts to herself.
1. To begin, tell the child to pick up her raisin and look at it. Ask her to make a silent observation about its size and texture.
2. Then, direct her to feel the raisin between her fingers. Does it have bumps and ridges? What does the weight of the raisin feel like in her palm?
3. Have her bring the raisin to her nose. Does its smell remind her of anything? How does it smell different from other foods?
4. Next, tell her to put the raisin on her tongue…but tell her not to take a bite just yet! Does the texture feel different when it’s in her mouth compared to when she held it in her hand?
5. After she bites into the raisin, ask her to think about its flavor. Is there more than one flavor?
6. Finally, tell her to swallow the raisin. Ask her to determine what flavors are left lingering in her mouth.
7. We can be grateful for the taste sensations and for having food. Remind her that the food she is eating involves many people and hard work. Remind her of the farmer, the people working at the grocery store and the people who work to prepare our food.
To wrap up the exercise, ask the child what she learned from eating slowly and mindfully.
- Was eating like this different from how she’s used to?
- How was it different?
- Would she like to do this again?
- How could focusing attention like this help her in other activities?
I hope that your family will enjoy this exercise! May you be happy and healthy.
If you are new to mindfulness with children we recommend that you read our guide: How To Practice Mindfulness With Children – The Essential Guide
1 American Mindfulness Research Association, “Mindful attention helps regulate Amount of food consumed”, https://goamra.org/mindful-attention-helps-regulate-amount-food-consumed/, (May 2016).
Chris Bergstrom is the co-founder of BlissfulKids.com and a dad who is thrilled to practice mindfulness with his son. He is a certified mindfulness facilitator, and trained to teach mindfulness to students in K-12. He’s also an executive consultant, and has taught meditation for more than 10 years.