A Literature Review of the Role of Mindfulness Practices in Nutrition for Mothers and Their Children

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A Literature Review of the Role of Mindfulness Practices in Nutrition for Mothers and Their Children

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Group # 1 Members

Alissa Mohammed - 815011458 Arianna Rampersad - 816008170 Afisha Ravello - 813002780



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. . . a model of mindful parenting emphasized the importance of demonstrating intentionality and incorporating moment-to-moment awareness in parent-child relationships.


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US Adults and children suffer from a number of nutrition-related problems. Obesity is one such problem. 39.8% US adults and 18.5% of US children (2-19 yrs) are affected by Obesity. Inadequate fruit and vegetable intake have been expressed as a nutritional concern. 12.2% of adults meet the recommended daily intake (RDI) of fruit, and 9.3% meet the RDI of vegetables. 9% of children meet the RDI of fruit, with 2% meeting the RDI of vegetables.


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Healthy nutrition and adequate diet are of great importance throughout the lifespan. Healthy nutrition during pregnancy is of great significance because of the development of the expecting mother and child during pregnancy. The mother’s nutritional needs increase during pregnancy, thus, healthy weight gain has increased attention. Also, childhood nutritional needs should be considered during the development period.


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Mindfulness stems from Buddhist teachings and may be defined as the “moment-by-moment” state of awareness. Awareness of our present thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.


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Recently, literature has expanded on benefits of mindfulness and demonstrates positive links between mindfulness and other health benefits and behaviours related to good nutrition. Increased attention has also been given to mindful parenting and its benefits on parenting interventions and positive youth development. This column aimed to review existing studies and interventions that explored the role mindfulness and mindful parenting may have in nutrition.


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x x x x x x PubMed and Psyclnfo databases were used ta find Literature. Peer-reviewed jaurnel articles were published 5 years thet focused mindfulness and nu&ition pragrams for mothers. 14 Articles chosen 'ID) Pubmed and {4) Psyclnfa. The search wes dane by 2 reviewers and the eligibility af each article abstract was reviewed. Articles were excluded if they did nat include mindfulness practices end nutritian implicafions. The final review camprised 7 articles, including 3 general studies end interventions.


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The seven articles which was used for the final review comprised of three general studies and four interventions ,which explored the association of mindful parenting and/or mindful eating practices and nutrition among pregnant women /mothers and their children .


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Mindfulness Studies- Findings In the study done by : Gouveia et al It was demonstrated that mindful parenting was significantly associated with lower levels of emotional distress among children . Laraia et al It was found that the association of mindful parenting ,specifically the dimension of compassion ,is indirectly related to adolescents emotional eating behaviours . Mothers who are mindful of their eating behaviors are also mindful of their child feeding practices.


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Mindfulness Studies- Findings Continued … In the study done by: Tylka et al in 2013 It was found that mothers who identified eating for physical reasons ,rather than emotional reasons ,are more likely to monitor food intake in children ,whereas mothers who engage in contextual skills ,such as mindfulness are more likely to engage in shared feeding responsibility .


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Mindfulness Programs / Interventions - Findings These programs helped in improving eating and nutrition related skills such as overeating and childhood feeding practices . Slow down program and program by Tylka et al: It was found that acquiring and practicing mindfulness skills helped mothers with stress management and overeating . Mindful Moms Training Program It was found that mindfulness component of the program reduced stress and depressive symptoms ,improved eating behaviours ,and was effective in decreasing experiential avoidance among pregnant women .


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Mindfulness had favourable outcomes for nutrition related variables and non-nutrition variables such as mental well-being . For children mindfulness and mindful parenting displayed by mothers were associated with lower levels of emotional stress, increased inclusion of involving children in feeding responsibilities ,and decreased likelihood of children or adolescents engaging in emotional eating .


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Numerous studies conducted prove that mindfulness practices improve eating and nutrition outcomes for mothers. This review attained similar results that support the positive outcome of mindfulness practices of mother and having an improvement in the nutrition of their children. Having mindfulness activities in your lifestyle is shown to promote better health and reducing stress. Stress has been discovered to contribute to gestational diabetes and endocrine development for expecting mothers. In parenting, regulation of stress and mindfulness can be a key role in decreasing emotional distress rates among children.


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A mother’s mindful eating pattern may have an affect on their children's diet. This can be implemented to help reduce and prevent childhood obesity. The main focus of this review was mindfulness and nutrition among mothers but the researchers also discussed the way mindlessness would impact the nutrition of children. Furthermore, Mindfulness practices can be used as an alternative to address the childhood risk for obesity in the United States.


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Limitations and strengths

LIMITATIONS: Non - English articles were used which might have minimized the relevant literature. Research was not based on an exhaustive search of literature. STRENGTHS: This review highlights key components of health initiatives that emphasize mindfulness in nutrition. Practicing mindfulness in parenting and nutrition has been shown to improve health outcomes of mothers and their children; however, there is still a need to understand how mindfulness and nutrition performs in vulnerable populations and among unique cultures.


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Mindful Parenting Bringing your conscious attention to what’s happening ,instead of being hijacked by your emotions . Experiential Avoidance An attempt or desire to suppress unwanted internal experiences ,such as emotions,thoughts, memories and bodily sensations . Mindful eating Maintaining an in-the-moment awareness of the food and drink you put into your body. It involves observing how the food makes you feel and the signals your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness.


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Samantha Keaulana , Mapuana Antonio. n.d. “A Literature Review of the Role of Mindfulness Practices in Nutrition for Mothers and Their Children - Samantha Keaulana , Mapuana Antonio, Hailey Schoch, Jinan Banna , 2019.” SAGE Journals. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/VV5ZP2WNBD44NV78STVY/full.


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