In this episode of Healthy Family Project, we talk to Jackie Vega about how to practice mindful eating in your daily life and encourage your little ones and tweens to pick up these healthy habits. What is mindful eating and how can you practice it at home? Listen to find out!

Jackie is a registered dietitian, ACE certified personal trainer, wife, and mom of two. She is the founder of the Wellness Solution where she offers guidance to her clients on all things health and fitness.

You might also recognize Jackie from the popular website Super Healthy Kids where she writes recipes and is a meal plan developer.

Listener Survey!

Thank you so much for supporting the Healthy Family Project Podcast! We’d love it if you could take 5 minutes to let us know how we can bring you the best possible content for future episodes. Take the survey here.

Healthy Recipes & Tips in Your Inbox

Sign up for the Healthy Family Project e-newsletter to receive healthy recipe inspiration, our latest blog posts and more directly to your inbox each week. 

Healthy Family Project Facebook Group

Join our Healthy Family Project Facebook group! This group will serve as a safe space for parents and caregivers to talk all about raising a healthy family – from dealing with a picky eater and tips to get more fruits and veggies onto plates to exercising as a family and mental health. We welcome all of you to join in!

Want to skip straight to a hot topic? See time stamps below. But of course, we recommend listening all the way through!

  • 2:09 – Inspiration for Wellness Solution and work at Super Healthy Kids
  • 6:01 – What is Mindful Eating?
  • 7:27  – Tips for mindful eating
  • 9:33  – How to get tweens to practice mindful eating 
  • 14:15 – How do encourage kids to make healthier choices when purchasing food at school
  • 19:10 – Practicing mindful eating with a busy schedule

Healthy Family Project Podcast

Conversations covering hot topics in the world of health, food and family with a dose of fun. Helping families ease their way into a new fresh and healthy world.

Be on the lookout for new bi-weekly episodes and don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcasting site. If you like an episode, make sure to leave a rating and comment.

If you are interested in being a guest on the Healthy Family Project podcast, contact with your topic idea for consideration.

Transcript for Episode 6

This transcript was produced by Otter.Ai. Please forgive any misspellings and grammatical errors.

Welcome to the healthy family project by produce for kids, covering the hot topics in the world of health,
food and family with a dose of fun. I’m really excited about our guests today. And to talk a little bit about
mindful eating. I have known Jackie our guests for a while now and knew from the moment I met her that
we would be friends. And fun fact, if you listen to episode four with Cory from Lean Green dad, Jackie
actually connected me with Corey. So crazy, awesome world of people dedicated to getting us all a little
healthy, or I guess. Jackie is a registered dietitian and a certified personal trainer, a wife and mom of two.
So another super, super woman, there’s a lot of those out there, it makes me really happy. She is the
founder of the wellness solution where she offers guidance to her clients on all things health and fitness.
And then you might also recognize Jackie, from the popular popular website super healthy kids where
she writes recipes and is a meal plan developer. And recently, I had the pleasure of having breakfast with
Jackie, and catching up on all her efforts to create a healthier generation. And she told me several
stories that really sparked a few ideas around mindful eating. And then of course, a few days later, I gave
her a ring and said you need to come on to the podcast. So let’s talk about mindful eating and get
chatting with Jackie. Hi, Jackie. Welcome to the healthy family project.
Hey, Amanda, I’m so glad that I was able to join you today.
Thanks for being here. We can’t wait to talk about mindful eating. It’s such a hot topic. So before we dive
in to our topic of the day, which is mindful eating, can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind
the wellness solution, and really your role at one of our favorite websites? Super healthy kids?
All right, I’ll start with the easy one super healthy kids, because that has just been my passion over the
last five years. I started with them in 2013, writing recipes and meal plans. And just, you know, just
running the that part of the membership, you know, dealing with our members and Facebook. So that’s
super healthy kids. And then also the other really good thing is that I definitely need to say is we have
created the app prepare, which is a meal planning app. And it’s been really exciting because I never
thought that I would be part of a tech startup. So it always gives me good conversation when my
husband’s at home because he’s a techie and yeah, I always I always had to throw that in there. It’s like,
Hey, I know what you’re talking about. I’m with the wellness solution. It actually first began back in 2008
when I had invested in a stroller fitness franchise, and they had encouraged us to blog. And that was
actually through I don’t know if you know, the like most people blogging today use But at
that time, the big one was Blogspot. Yeah,
I did. I had a blog back in the day on blogspot. So
yeah, so it’s just funny for me to think about that and bring it up every once in a while because I think that
was the platform to use. But I did one back then and it was actually fit and fabulous mamas. So I’ve
always been with the moms and fitness which is actually turned into dietetics because at that time I was
going to school to be a dietitian. And fun factor that everybody loves to hear this is that when I was going
to school, it was all through Kansas State University and a few other schools in between there. And it
was all online. It was kind of like the beginning stages of what so many people are doing now with going

to school, through the internet. And at the same time I nurse my kids. So I would sit at the table nurse my
kids and I went to school and I it’s I’m grateful for that because I was able to do what I wanted to do as a
mom, right. But I also was able to get my bachelor’s degree that I am absolutely proud of so and then it’s
kind of gone towards a lot of what I do is more on Facebook. And I’ve been focusing more on the whole
part behind. I think moms there’s so many things that we can do now as far as fitness and nutrition and
there’s a lot of great programs out there. But I think a lot of moms kind of struggle with the accountability
and just having those other girlfriends around them who feel the same way that they do her going
through the same struggles that they are. And I don’t really see enough of that, or at least what I’m
looking for anyways. So that’s kind of where it’s starting to go now.
Wonderful, I love that we all need those support groups and it sounds like everything that you’re you’re
doing and you’re, you know, expertise and being able to help and guide people down the healthy path. I
love it. Okay. Okay, so, uh, you know, I admire everything you do. I’m like one of the big Jackie fans over
here. So let’s jump in. Let’s talk about mindful eating. It’s we’re seeing it pop up everywhere. I feel like
moving into 2018, early this year, it was, you know, the buzzword of 2018. And in the food world, you
know, everyone’s trying to be a mindful eater. But I think, to start, do you have a definition of what mindful
eating really is? Because I think we all hear the word, but it’s kind of like, what is it really?
Yeah. And there are a good handful of amazing dieticians, who their whole practice is really based
around that. But I think for myself, probably because most of what I, you know, most of who I work with
are moms and especially children, I think of it is more like just taking that moment to recognize what
you’re eating, you know, the people you’re around, just like that atmosphere and what brought you
together to actually, you know, serve and cook and really think about this food. It’s not his stuff, I think my
thoughts around it are definitely different from what other ones think. And it’s like, the satisfaction, the
energy that the food is going to give you. And that tends to be my conversation around food, especially
when it comes to my kids.
Okay. Yeah, I think I like that definition. That’s a nice, easy, you know, just thinking it all through and
really being aware of what aware of what you’re putting into your body. Alright, so let’s talk. Um, and we
do this a lot on this podcast, it’s, you know, we’re really talking to helping our listeners take those first
steps. So now we understand what mindful eating is. Now, can you share a few easy, pretty basic tips
that listeners can take away and implement into their lives?
Yeah, you know, I was thinking about this when, you know, before when, when we first talked about this
interview, and it’s, I don’t know if it can necessarily be certain kind of steps. But I just feel that one of the
biggest things is to not really overthink it, I think if we sit there and try to figure out, oh, mindful eating,
and we got to put our mind into it, and we need to relax, and we need to take so many bites and that kind
of thing. I think if we get into it, and that really like you know, that pickiness kind of thing, it may sort of
blow things up, it may give us more anxiety. I mean, I know for me, if that’s what I have to think about
when I’m thinking of mindful eating. It gives me these thoughts of, okay, I’ve got to think about these
many bites and and then I kind of start thinking about what else am I supposed to be doing? And the kids
are right there with me? Am I not paying enough attention to them? So I think it’s just a matter of really
just just relaxing and don’t turn it into something that you’re going to end up sabotaging yourself over the
fact that maybe you shouldn’t be eating that certain food or maybe you should be putting more greens on
your plate because I think it can quickly turn downward. So
yes, overthinking not good. In all aspects of our world. Gal, my gosh, yes. So well. Awesome. So that’s
easy. That’s I mean, we can do that now. Okay, so both of us have older tweens, which is I know we
talked about this a lot. And it’s it’s quite a world we’re in but so these these girls are spending more time
out of the house. And so how do we get our kids to be mindful when they’re in an alternate setting? You
know, I think we talked a little bit about holiday parties and the cookies are flowing and you know, when
we’re not kind of there to be the watchdog and remind them about you know, listening to their bodies and
things like that.

Yeah. Well, I always have to go back to the fact that it all begins at home and this is the same way I
talked to clients. I talked to our members that super healthy kids. If we’re doing our part at home, the kids
are going to see it no matter what we think our kids are smart. Our kids are soaking up everything. And
they really do look at what we do and what we say and things like that. So if we’re the ones that are
sitting in front of the screen, whether it be the TV, the phone The computer’s and we’re just kind of
mindless eat mindlessly eating just they’re not really paying attention to even taking the fork and seeing
what it is that we are, are putting on our fork. They’re going to see that. And it the other thing is that I’m
also a big I talk about this a lot is that the words that we use around our families can or our kids
specifically, it can give them the ideas it will make them, how do I even say this? So for instance, okay,
kind of a little bit off subject, but I have so many friends that when we’re around once they know what I
do and who I am, their biggest thing is, oh, my gosh, what can I do to get abs? Well, what can I do
because I need to lose this weight. So it always turns into food ends up turning into this whole diet
mantra, right. And I think that’s the wrong way to go about things, I think we need to start talking to our
kids about the more healthy aspects of food. And if they see us talking about things like that, they’re
going to be more apt to get in front of their friends and talk about it. I have my daughter’s birthday was in
April, and we went to do these things at the mall and stuff and ended up going out to dinner. And one of
her friends had said I have to pick something healthy, and I want to have a little bit of salad. And so it just
gave me reassurance that probably her parents are talking the right way. And knowing that those are the
kinds of people that my daughter is choosing to be around, it gives me the assurance of knowing that I’m
doing something, right. So I need to back off, and let her make those choices, because she’s seen what
I’m doing. And the time is going to come where maybe she will make the wrong choice. But she’ll see
she’ll see what happens. You know, we talk a lot about healthy skin, hair and nails. And I explained to her
that it back in the day, I was a cosmetologist and that was one of the things that we learned in school,
that we have to put in the good things to give us healthy hair, skin and nails. And that’s what we had to
educate our clients. So if we are doing the right thing at home, and not stressing over what choices our
kids are making, when they’re not with us, I think it’s just gonna all fall into place.
I like that. And certainly, you know, we’re not perfect people, either as parents, that’s for sure. And so it’s,
you know, I think balance. It’s all you know, they see that if we are balancing what we’re putting into our
bodies, whether we have a dessert every now and then or you know, and then we have the salad and we
were showing them that balance. And like you said, I feel the same that that there’s going to be mistakes.
And I think that going through this process with them. They’ll recognize that like, Okay, this is the way I
feel this was not a good choice. I need to like, you know, scale it back. So
Mm hmm. Definitely.
Well, I hate to start talking about back to school, but for us here in Florida, it’s coming. It’s you know, we
are nearly there. So I know that, you know, my kids pack. Typically my younger daughter, she’s fairly
selective eater. We pack her lunch. My older daughter likes to purchase school lunch every now and
then. But I know a lot of excuse me, a lot of kids do purchase lunches at school. Some are even, you
know, some purchase breakfast lunch snack. So how do we I guess it may be it’s, it’s, it’s probably
something like the same same answer. But how do we guide them in the school setting when they have
those choices in front of them where it might be? You know, who I really want? You know, I can’t even
think of what it would be right now. But there’s like those two two choices. And it’s kind of like, what do I
Yeah, you know, one that’s come up recently with my daughter is that she wants soda. I can’t even
remember off the top of my head. When was the last time we actually bought like Coke or Pepsi or
something like that. If for our home. I remember when my husband and I were first together and we had
other roommates but so it’s that’s one of those things where she’s definitely seen it when she’s gone
places with her friends. Now my son on the other hand, he just he never wants it. He doesn’t like that
fuzzy stuff. So I think it also depends on the differences in tastes. You know, she has this, these taste
buds for it and he just doesn’t know where it came from. I have no idea because we just don’t drink it
right. So what I’ve taught her is, first of all, I have told her like one of the birthday parties that she went to
without me. I was like, Look, you don’t have to text me and ask me what you can have, I trust the fact
that you know what your better choices are. I also know that, you know that we do have those fun things,

you know, she knows I drink my wine, you know, with my friends. And she also knows that that’s not the
best thing to make a habit out of. Right. So that’s just the other thing where she sees me. And one thing
that she’ll do is she’ll she doesn’t choose like the coke and like those dark sodas that she knows is going
to have caffeine in them. So she’ll choose the Sprite or the seven up, and she’ll just choose one, you
know, she doesn’t do it all the time. And then I just, I guess it does, you know, like you said, it goes back
to the way that we’re bringing them up. The other thing is we were talking about before we started
recording is that how much our kids love being in the kitchen, and my my daughter loves that, you know,
she loves to bake. And she also knows that there are other things that we can bake as healthier treats
that are still fun, they still have the chocolate chips in them and things like that. But we’ll add the flaxseed
and chia seeds or anything that’s going to make it just a little bit more nutrient dense. So if we show them
that those types of fun foods can fit into our normal everyday lives without being, you know, upset,
because that’s what we’ve chosen. I think that’s going to be Yeah, I think it’s big. And the other thing that
we’ve recently been going through with my son is that I’ve I don’t know if he has a true gallery, gallery,
dairy allergy. But because he doesn’t want to get the blood test, which I’m totally fine with that. But he
just keeps getting these weird little rashes around his wrist. And so I’ve just made him very mindful of the
foods that he eats that has dairy. So he’s really particular about looking at labels. And I’ve been lately
calling it a blessing in disguise that you know whether or not he is really allergic to it and maybe has a
sensitivity for it. He’s just become really into looking at the the labels and making sure if it has it or if it
doesn’t, and he was really aware of the fact of when he last had dairy and how much of it. So it just goes
along with what we teach our kids.
I love that that he’s looking at labels. I’m telling you, my older daughter, not my younger one, but that Mia,
the older one, she, if you start talking about doctor’s office, or blood tests, or anything, that girl will do
anything not to stay away from the needles. So I feel like wow. But there needs to be more things like
this, like the kids don’t want the blood test. So now he’s like reading all the labels. That’s
like, yeah, yeah, there’s your alternative
was very funny. She has some allergy things going on. And we’ve been, you know, do it kind of doing the
same thing, not food allergies, but And so she’s like, I just don’t want to do the, you know, the PARCC
tests that they do, or anything else. I just want to kind of figure it out on our own. So yeah. All right. So
okay, so mindful eating, I feel like this is definitely something that we can get behind too stressful. But I
have to say, when I think about my everyday life, summer has slowed down a little bit. But on, you know,
normal school year, we’re running, we’re running to tennis, we’re going to dance, you know, I’m coming
either from work or from here from there. And so like, the mindful eating, I think, well, how can we be
mindful eaters when we’re, you know, eating out of our bento boxes in the car, like rushing from one
place to the other? How does that work? How can we like keep, keep that keep on track with it when
we’re not like, whoa, we have all this time to sit and chew. And, you know,
well, you already said one thing that I think is huge that you’re being mindful over what it is that you’re
eating by bringing something from home. So that would of course be one of the biggest things. And then
I think the other thing is to like the way that I travel, especially if I’m going to my mom’s or up there to
Orlando out I love to have the music on whether it’s music or a podcast. I think if we’re going to eat in the
car, maybe we need to just get the distractions out there you know, put on better music or even turn it
down or off in chit chat with the kids and make it that more of a you know, mindful atmosphere. And that
should help.
Yes, my older daughters into the podcast world now. A podcast like this listen to the healthy family
project. Mom, I don’t know. So Well, I can’t thank you enough for being part of the healthy family project,
I’m sure hopefully we’ll be talking to you again soon. I know there’s lots of topics that that we can we can
talk about, and that you can share your expertise with us. And thank you for being someone I know that I
can count on. And of course, answering my random text messages here and there. So we can find you
on wellness. Did I get that right?

Yes. And it’s only with two s’s. Don’t ask me why I did it. I can’t remember. Okay.
And super healthy kids, of course. Is there anywhere else? Social media that you want to share with
Yes, well, I definitely want to thank you, of course, for inviting me, it’s an honor. I love produce for kids
and being able to visit with you when I had to Orlando. So lately, a lot of my stuff I’ve been just sharing on
Facebook, and it’s not always necessarily my own things. It’s other dieticians and people that I feel are,
you know, who feel and think the same way that I do. And that’s where I’ll do videos as well. Those are
my live videos. And you just have to search for the wellness solution on Facebook, and Instagram. I’m
kind of sporadic on Instagram, because I find that when I start posting there, I get in this little trance, and
then I start looking on it myself. Oh, yeah, the time goes away. Oh, that one is actually Jackie Vega dot
rdn. And mostly what I’ve been trying to do a little bit more is to just let people know who I am. And not
just the thoughts and ideas that I have in my mind. And then I also like to send email. So if anybody
wants to join my email list, they just they can do that by hopping over to the website. For that’s it.
Oh, that’s wonderful. So I will include links, I will actually link up to your different outlets on our show
notes. So if you are listening and want to go over there and find Jackie you can. And then of course I
know you mentioned the app prepare. And we had our first episode I believe was meal planning for
beginners. So we want to continue that meal planning conversation. So any of you listening and are on
the trail, the meal planning trail, that’s definitely the place to go or visit super healthy kids website. And
we’ll link up to that in the show notes too. Thank you. Thank you so much, Jackie. Talk to you soon.
Thanks for listening in today. Mindful eating is so important. And we will keep this conversation going
throughout all of our episodes. I’m including several links in our show notes that will connect you to
content we have on produce for kids calm around mindful eating, we actually have a really great post
from Lesley who’s on our produce for kids team. And she talks about how she practices mindful eating
with her family. So a few simple tips there. I’ll also include relevant links from Jackie’s site the wellness
solution, and then content from our friends over at super healthy kids where Jackie serves as a
contributor. So we are fast approaching back to school. Yay. And if you are in planning mode, you need
to go check out our new lunchbox ideas that we have at power your if you’re a teacher and
educator, we also have a cool section dedicated just to teachers. If you’re in planning for the meet the
teacher night or sneak peek night No, it’s called different things, different places. But we have some fun,
downloadable, healthy eating focused materials just for you and it’s all free. So head over there and grab
that. So power your lunchbox calm I don’t want to confuse anyone I usually direct everybody to produce
for But not to worry. Produce for kids and power your lunchbox calm are actually
interconnected. So really, we use the site power your lunchbox as the hub for our back to school
initiative, the power your lunchbox promise, and I’ll be talking more about the power your lunchbox
promise in the coming weeks we’re going to do several episodes all about back to school topics. So you
can look forward to that. And then I will let you guys know more info about making the promise. So that is
going to start on August six and families will be able to make the promise to eat a healthier lunch and be
healthier the school year so more details to come. And as always, you can check out our new content on
our social media outlets Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram as well as YouTube. If you have
questions, comments, episode ideas, you can of course, comment on any of our social sites but you can
also leave your comments on unhealthy family project Be sure to subscribe talk soon