Making Mindful Meals for Thanksgiving

Food. One of the most important and basic human needs, and yet 1 in 9 people are chronically undernourished in the world- around 795 million people according to the United Nations.  The majority of undernourished are in developing countries, but there are local communities right in the Bay Area which suffer from homelessness and hunger. Yesterday we had the incredible opportunity to do a very small part to feed some local community members as part of our new Cookin’ for a Cause program.

Inspired by some amazing work in our local area to feed North Bay Fire victims, Mindful Littles has launched a partnership program with My Sustainable Table to prepare and deliver meals to those in need.  For our first event, we helped Shelter Inc– a nonprofit organization dedicated “to prevent and end homelessness for low-income, homeless, and disadvantaged families and individuals by providing housing, services, support, and resources that lead to self-sufficiency.”  It was extra special that we each got to do this first event on Thanksgiving Eve and take a break from our own holiday routines to help those in need.

Our Cookin’ for a Cause program is important on so many levels.  It provides an opportunity for our community to work together to help feed local families with freshly cooked meals, teaching our littles about a purposeful cause to help with and to have gratitude for what they have.

The practice of cooking together is also such a wonderful communal activity- with every person assuming their own unique role and place to pull together the meals. Yesterday ten Mindful Littles families gathered to cook fettuccine alfredo with chicken- doing everything from washing, chopping, boiling, cooking, mixing and dishing to prepare the food. We also decorated and boxed cookies as an extra treat to give to the shelters.  Like many of our community events, when all the littles and bigs work together for a cause, you could feel the energy in the room, the buzz and flow of everyone working together.  We even squeezed in a bit of impromptu yoga for the littles while the food was cooking.

Cookin’ for a Cause is also a platform for each of us to learn more about mindful nutrition practices.  Admittedly mindful eating and nutrition is an area that is a work-in-progress for me personally.  As a busy working mom, I am almost always multi-tasking or rushing through most meals. But what we eat and how we eat it impacts every aspect of our well-being.   As we do more Cookin’ for a Cause programs, we hope to infuse healthy eating tips and practices for parents to take home so that we can learn how to integrate these practices into our everyday busy lives.  To start here’s a great reference article on 6 ways to practice mindful eating.  Our hope is to cook mostly organic meals for those we are serving as well. It is important to both Mindful Littles and My Sustainable Table that the food we serve to those in need is of the same quality we would want to feed our own children.

After our event I dropped of the meals at Shelter Inc’s emergency shelter.  The meals were originally intended to be used as supplemental meals.  But upon arriving at the emergency shelter, one of the women working there mentioned that our meals would in fact be served on Thanksgiving Day, as the only other food item that was donated was a turkey.  The Universe works in wondrous ways and unfolds our paths so that we can be doing the exact right thing at the exact right time.  We are grateful to be able to help feed some local families on Thanksgiving Day.

Thank you to My Sustainable Table for the opportunity to work together and to all the littles and bigs who made yesterday’s event possible!  We are looking forward to many more mindful meals we can make together!