How to incorporate food into your self-care routine
At our last Foodie Q&A, we talked with youth about using food as a form of self-care. Youth are nearing the end of their school year, and many are under a great deal of academic stress. Our goal was to teach youth about the concept of self-care and how food can be a great tool to take care of your body and emotional well-being.
We began by reminding them that by simply showing up at the Eastside Boxing Club’s after school program, exercising, eating healthy snacks, taking home food in the pantry, and hanging out with their friends, they are already practicing self-care.
We illustrated ways food can be used for self-care by sharing some of our favourite self-care foods and when we use them:
Sparkling water in a cute can when we are feeling a bit down and need something fancier than regular water. Something about those adorable Perrier cans is an instant mood-booster, and lethargy or sleepyness is often linked to dehydration.
If we haven’t slept well, we switch coffee for green tea in the morning. It has caffeine, but many other health benefits like antioxidents. In the evening, sleepytime tea and a bath can calm your mind and help you fall asleep easier.
If we need a night on the couch, popcorn and Netflix with a friend or family member. Not surprisingly, we did get called out for eating microwave popcorn and we were reminded that there is some bad stuff in it!
Finally, our all-time favourite comfort food, Annie’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Youth shared their favourite Mac ‘n’ Cheese toppers (hot dogs and broccoli).
As with all our Foodie Q&A’s, homework was to try out some of the self-care foods we brought in. We encouraged youth to listen to their bodies when choosing foods and to eat mindfully. Mostly they were just excited about the Perrier cans.