It’s no secret that there are many benefits to living an Ayurvedic lifestyle. From increased energy to greater balance and overall well being, this ancient practice has benefitted many adults. However, Ayurveda for kids can be just as beneficial, with the added bonus that starting your children with an Ayurvedic lifestyle can build healthy habits that will stick with them for a lifetime.
DOSHAS FOR KIDS
Just like adults, children each have a unique balance of doshas based on their body type an personality. While it’s important to understand your child’s individual needs and tailor their Ayurvedic routine for them, you should also be aware that childhood as a whole is considered a “Kapha phase.” This means that all children tend to have excess Kapha energy to help them grow and develop. The excess does not necessarily indicate that all children are imbalanced, but that they may need extra considerations for their Kapha energy to keep them healthy and happy.
Ayurveda for Kids – Vata Dosha
In addition to Kapha energy, children will also have their own blend of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. Children who have strong Vata doshas are likely to be highly creative, quick-witted and energetic. They may also be prone to anxiety, restlessness, have difficulty sleeping and might be picky eaters. With this in mind, Vata kids should be allowed to play in the sunshine and partake in other warm activities. Honey, fruits and naturally sweet items are considered acceptable for this dosha, and Vata children will also benefit from meditation or mindfulness exercises.
Ayurveda for Kids – Pitta Dosha
Pitta children are generally articulate, smart, confident and may be prone to strong bursts of anger or frustration. Pitta children might also have a sharp appetite, and they generally do not like to skip meals. Children with this dosha should avoid activities that will fire them up, and should instead practice mindfulness and be served cooling, fresh foods like fruits and vegetables.
Ayurveda for Kids – Kapha Dosha
Finally, children with strong Kapha tendencies are often compassionate, steady, focused and may be lethargic or even a little lazy. They likely sleep well and genuinely enjoy their food. Although all children have Kapha energy, too much of this dosha can cause an imbalance. To correct this, Kapha-dominant children should be encouraged to exercise or practice yogic stretches daily. They should avoid cold, heavy foods like milk and cheese, and should instead eat spiced foods with garlic, ginger or cinnamon.
AYURVEDIC ROUTINES FOR KIDS
Beyond establishing a proper diet, Ayurveda for kids is also focused on developing healthy daily routines for children. Western and Eastern medicine agree that a set daily routine will help kids develop healthy habits that will benefit them for life. Here are some tips to get your child started with an Ayurvedic routine:
Rise early: Both children and adults benefit from waking early and staying in tune with the sun. Children tend to be early risers anyway, so this should be easy. Although children are encouraged to wake at the same time each day, if they had a bad night of sleep then getting up a little later is always permissible!
Drink some water: Encourage your child to start the day with a glass of water. Drinking water 30 minutes before a meal also aids in digestion.
Use the bathroom: Teach your child to listen to their body’s needs, and start building the habit of using the bathroom in the morning. This will help your child develop a regular morning routine.
Morning massage or stretching: This Ayurvedic practice helps invigorate the body and wake the muscles. For babies or very small children, a parent or other caretaker can gently massage and stretch the muscles for 10-15 minutes. Older children can be taught to practice various yogic stretches themselves.
Eat right: Throughout the day, children should be served fresh, nutritious food at mealtimes. Make sure to take into account your child’s dosha when preparing food for them. Encourage your children to develop a mindfulness around food, and when they eat ensure they are free from distractions like screens or other activities.
Get moving: Since children have an excess of Kapha energy, they will need extra help to stay active and learn healthy routines. Whether it’s vigorous playtime in the backyard, a swimming class, little league sports or a daily walk around the neighborhood, make sure your child stays active.
Get enough sleep: At the end of a long day of growing and learning, make sure your little one is tucked into bed on time. Even teenagers should ideally be in bed no later than 10 pm.
AYURVEDA FOR KIDS- A LIFETIME OF WELLNESS
By starting these habits early, your children can reap the benefits of Ayurveda for kids and experience a lifetime of wellness and balance. The easiest way to set them on the right path is to offer a positive example and remain steadfast in your own Ayurvedic practice.
If you feel yourself struggling or you’re looking to improve your body’s balance, YouVeda’s My Healthy Body Supplement is a great way to overcome stress and improve your nutrition. This doctor-formulated kit is made with an organic blend of ashwagandha, triphala, amla, haritaki and other herbs, and can balance Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas.
So what are you waiting for? Get your kids started on the right path today.
Author: Alexandria Baker (Youveda Wellness contributor)