Ayurveda, popularly known as “the science of life,” is an ancient Indian medical system. It not only offers a comprehensive approach to finding personalized solutions to health problems but also provides practical dietary guidelines for maintaining the ideal weight and attaining optimal mental and physical well-being. In this article, we will learn about the basic principles of Ayurveda and how they can be applied to children’s nutrition.
According to Ayurvedic principles, foods are classified into six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Each taste is believed to have a specific effect on the body. For example, sweet foods are believed to be grounding and calming, while sour foods are thought to be energizing. It is also believed that the tastes act upon three vital forces or doshas, called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Vata is responsible for movement in the body; Pitta governs metabolism; and Kapha controls growth, immunity, and stability. An Ayurvedic diet will vary according to a person’s dosha type. For example, a Kapha type person will stick to a low-fat diet consisting mostly of carbohydrates, while a Pitta type person will need more protein, and Vata type people might benefit from raw foods. If you want to discover your Dosha type, take the Quiz Here.
Children, in general, love sweet foods so they tend to overeat without realizing that these kinds of food increase their weight and give them a sluggish feeling. However, there are some general dietary tips that are beneficial for all children.
When it comes to feeding children, Ayurveda recommends that parents give their children a variety of healthy foods that reflect all six tastes. This will help ensure that the child’s body gets the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive.
Here are some tips for incorporating Ayurveda into your children’s nutrition:
- Make sure your child eats a balanced meal containing all six tastes.
- Make sure your child eats some protein with every meal.
- Encourage your child to eat foods first with their stronger taste and then with the weaker tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent).
- Feed your child more warm/cooked foods than cold/raw foods.
- Feed your child more bitter foods than pungent, sour, or salty foods.
- Feed your child plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit.
- Encourage your child to drink plenty of water each day so he/she does not become dehydrated.
- Avoid frying food because it will decrease the balancing qualities that different tastes offer.
- Be sure your child drinks a minimum of six to eight glasses of lukewarm water a day.
- Limit the amount of sugar in your child’s diet because it can lead to tooth decay and weight gain.
- Do not restrict fat from your child’s diet but try to minimize saturated fats and processed foods.
- Be sure to give your child enough good-quality sleep each night so his/her body can regenerate and rejuvenate.
- Lastly, remember that each child is unique and will have different dietary needs, so work with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to create a tailored plan specifically for your child.
Following these simple ayurvedic tips for children’s nutrition can help you create a healthy, balanced diet for your child that is in accordance with Ayurvedic principles. By providing your child with nutritious foods that reflect all six tastes, you can help ensure that he/she grows up happy and healthy!