My eight-year-old son just made a snack, involving layers of yogurt, granola, banana chips, crushed graham, and peanut butter, all in a crystal demitasse (because presentation is everything). He says, and I quote, that he has never tasted anything so delicious in his life.
It's not about any one of those ingredients, or even the simple combination of them. It's about the whole: the process of selecting the flavors, the decisions in how to combine them, and the way the entire dish was pleasing to the eye as well as the mouth. He didn't rush to throw things down to his belly; it was more than just a way to quickly assuage hunger. Because of that, he was able to feel completely satisfied, rather than finding himself wanting more almost immediately.
I've been getting better about that, too. Following the advice of Christine, the Holistic Guru*, we started with one meal a day - breakfast - and we focus on making the food really something to satisfy us. It takes time; we select exactly the items we want, and we chop and prepare them together, shaping our dishes to be what we are craving. I like a good bowl of oatmeal, and it's a rare day that the bowl will have less than three other foods mixed in and on top of the oats. I also love to make the bowl half-sized, and then accompany it with another dish - a bagel, perhaps, with Laughing Cow and preserves, or with almond butter and crushed walnuts. We eat sitting at the dining room table, and we use good dishes; a while back, I decided that I am *worth* a real bowl, and even if I'm eating a hurried, microwaved lunch of leftovers or frozen food, I will not eat it out of a plastic cup or a cardboard box.
Making the dining experience satisfying is a huge key to weight loss, I think. We're designed to seek satisfaction, and if we don't get it from quality, our bodies will seek it with quantity. It does not take so very much longer to chop up some strawberries or sprinkle some sunflower seeds onto a prepackaged salad, or to put the leaves into an attractive bowl.