Whoever thinks that Ayurveda is only for adults have completely got that wrong. Ayurveda is an age-old medical science that can support the growth, development and health of your young ones without any side effects.
As every mother knows, no two children are alike. So, it is essential to understand the needs of each child - emotional, physiological, and psychological nourishment - to know about the child's constitution and imbalances. According to Ayurveda, there are three main Ayurvedic mind-body types or mind-body principles which are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The balance in the child's mind and body is based on the proper balance of these three doshas. To understand the doshas better,
- Vata - Vata is the source of communication and intelligence. Vata governs your child's nervous impulses, creativity or elimination.
- Pitta - Pitta governs metabolism, digestion processes, and endocrine processes.
- Kapha - Kapha governs structure, cohesion, and mass.
Of course, most children won't fall so directly into these three categories. The combination of these three doshas can be unique for each child. Once you know your child's prakriti or constitution through a consultation with an Ayurvedic physician, you will know the health problems your child may be prone to, plan their daily routine and diet they require to prevent illnesses.
Ayurvedic Diet For Children
The goal of all nutrition is to give our body the nourishment and energy required. The main goal here is to ensure the thorough digestion of the food consumed. Here according to Ayurveda, the digestive fire, Agni, comes into play only when the food taken is burnt properly, and there is minimal production of waste material, Ama. According to Ayurveda, this not only provides for a healthy and wholesome diet but also builds the basis for good physical and mental performance, and prevents everyday aches and pains and other illnesses.
Here are a few recommendations by our expert Ayurvedic physicians to keep in mind while planning healthy food for kids:
Every meal should include 6 tastes - sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter, astringent. This can stimulate all the 6 senses which have different effects on a person’s body and mind.
- Prepare and consume your meals as fresh as possible.
- Ensure your child drinks warm water with meals. It makes the digestive tract stronger while a cold drink weakens it.
- For breakfast, Ayurveda suggests something warm along with a glass of milk.
- Ayurveda suggests using cow’s milk because to prevent children from any deficiency that can lead to growth and developmental disorders.
- For lunch, Ayurveda suggests the intake of homemade yogurt along with a well-balanced lunch spread.
- For dinner, Ayurveda prefers light, easily digestible meals. Try to avoid animal proteins that are difficult to digest during the night.
- All types of junk food or canned, frozen, or packaged foods should be avoided.
- Include sattvic (pure) foods in your child's diet. They include cow's milk, ghee, yogurt, paneer, rice, whole grains, healthy sweeteners such as jaggery and honey, whole seeds and nuts, and organic fruits and vegetables.
- Include small pinches of spices such as turmeric, cumin, and pepper. It can help in digestion, metabolism, and brain nourishment.
In addition to the general information about Ayurvedic nutrition, changes can be brought into this diet depending on your child's body constitution. This can be identified with the help of an Ayurvedic physician. Then, gently start with individual steps and calmly find your own way to make you and your child.