Churches can help its members and members of their community improve their eating habits by offering programs, education and support. Here are some to consider:
Americans tend to eat mindlessly. We are unaware of tastes and smells and textures as we focus on conversation or television or reading material. Mindful Eating gives an opportunity to slow down and experience dining in a very conscious way. Eating can become a joyous and spiritual experience as we develop a healthy relationship to food.
Mindful Eating is based on the Buddhist tradition of focusing, of being very conscious of whatever activity one is engaged in. It is developed for use with a group of parishioners who are self-selected. If you have had a program on food, diet or exercise, you might want to use this as a follow-up. It is also very appropriate for use during Lent and Advent.
DOWNLOAD Mindful Eating Program
The Portion Plate is a portion control dietary program that promotes a balanced, nutritional approach to meal planning. Recent scientific studies show that nearly 60% of Americans are overweight, and that one of the main reasons for this growing epidemic of obesity is that we simply eat too much food. To help curb that trend, Episcopal Retirement Homes’ (ERH) Parish Health Ministry offers The Portion Plate program customized for congregational use.
- Participants sign up and pay a $10.00 participation fee to take the Portion Plate pledge. This enables the individual to receive a fun, portion-controlled plate, corresponding educational placemat, as well as a pledge log and daily meditations.
- By taking The Portion Plate pledge, participants commit to using their plate during at least one meal per day (lunch or dinner) for a two-week period. They will record their use of the plate on the pledge log. Participants will also have the option of focusing on other health behaviors, such as daily exercise and water consumption, by using the personal goals checklist.
Portion Plate Program Packet includes implementation materials (program overview, implementation guidelines, sign-in sheet and program evaluation form), promotional materials (sample bulletin announcement, sample newsletter article, flier/poster, spiritual support materials, and Healthy Thoughts bulletin insert), and participant materials (participant guidelines, pledge log sheet, participant evaluation form, personal goals checklist, daily meditation, top 10 portion tips). $ 50 for the program
Portion Plate Kit for each participant (includes a plate & placemat) — $ 10 each plus shipping
Call (513) 272-5555 ext. 4285 or 1-800-835-5768
Learn more at: Episcopal Retirement Services
Just Eating is a free seven-session program on the relationship between our faith and our food by the Presbyterian Hunger Commission includes a Middle School Curriculum and a Leader’s Guide and Participant Guide for adults, teens or intergenerational use.
“The curriculum explores how practicing our faith is foundational to meaningful and healthy living, for ourselves, for the earth and for others in the world. In particular, the program asks us to consider how eating—one of the most basic human activities—is an invitation to experience God and to journey with others in the world.”
Available as a free download from LeaderResources by clicking on the links above or from our site by clicking on the links below:
Just Eating Leader’s Guide