Ayurveda for Kids
Whoever we are: parents, grandparents, other elder relatives or simple well-wishers, we want to see our kids healthy. One of the eight branches of Ayurveda is pediatrics (Bala Tantra). It teaches some simple natural wisdom to keep our little ones happy and healthy.
Here are the key rules:
- Consistent daily routine.
Waking up early, going to bed early and eating with nature’s rhythms, when the main meal of the day is consumed while the Sun is on its highest providing us with good digestive fire are foundation of good health.
Consistency gives a child a sense of security and confidence and reduces stress.
- Warm oil massage. (See Abhyanga).
A daily Abhyanga (warm oil massage) before bath time boosts children’s immunity, calms the nervous system and provides a layer of protection from germs.
These few minutes of loving touch enhances the bonding and affection that kids seek.
- Freshly cooked, wholesome meals.
Feed kids warm nourishing meals like hot cereal, vegetable soups and kitchari (thin warm dish with rice and green or yellow mung beans). Such food is highly nutritious and easy to digest. Small pinches of digestive spices like cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, and turmeric will clear any possible toxins. (See Kitchari recipe).
- Honey and ginger immunity enhancer (for kids 1 and older).
Raw organic honey helps to expectorate excess mucus, while ginger juice keeps digestive fire (agni) strong. A daily teaspoon of this combination with a pinch of turmeric can ward off common colds, flus, and allergies.
- Warm milk.
Ayurveda values the ojas (life strength) producing qualities
of milk. Like the Sun helps digest heavy meals at noon, the Moon easily assimilates milk, if taken warm after 6 pm. The amount should be found practically. Cook organic, non-homogenized, whole milk with spices like cardamom, fennel, nutmeg, saffron, or ginger, add organic date sugar by taste and a dab of Clarified butter (See Ghee). Start with ¼ cup of this potion before bed. If there is mucus in the throat, eyes, or nose of your child the next morning, cut off the dosage by half. Disturbed sleep and imbalanced emotions indicate that the dosage has to be increased.
Warm milk strengthens not only our kids’ body, it gives a boost to their intellect as well.
- Protecting of emotions.
Overstimulation from TV, computer, video games, and commercial leaves lasting impressions on kid’s minds. These assaults go deep into the psyche and disturb their life force (prana), affecting emotional and spiritual growth of our loved ones. Since they can’t control themselves it is our duty to protect their delicate sensory organs. Even newborns when being in the room where an adult movie is running get their senses offended.
- Free play.
Playing with children develops their creativity and imagination, while their souls are satisfied by the love and attention they crave from us. He or she will remember for their life not the plenty of toys and videogames we bought them, but a simple game outdoors when you played and laughed together.
TODAY’S TIP: Kids live in a Kapha period of life no matter what their constitution is. That means that they will be prone to Kapha diseases like cold, cough and other respiratory disorders. Follow the above immunity enhancing measures and remember that sometimes a disease is a call for attention and love in both kids and adults.