ART OF FEEDING THE CHILDREN
Child HealthFood

Feeding your child right. It’s an Ayurvedic art!

It is no secret that a growing kid needs a well of nutrition to meet his body requirements. His bones are developing, muscles growing, mind taking its shape and their brain sharpening. Much has been discussed about the necessity of feeding the child right. As such, every parent hover over the content of their kid’s plate!

However, not much has been said about the art of feeding a child in the right proportion and correct manner. It definitely is one of the most taxing tasks for the parents to get their child empty the bowl. But for some, it can be a little more tricky where the child refuses to put food in his mouth at all!

There can be a multitude of reasons which won’t present itself. You have to be vigilant and dig the layers to find the cause of his aversion to food. Many times, even the child does not know what’s causing this disruption in his diet. And force feeding can just make matters worse!

Here is the first list of signs you need to check if feeding the child has become a battle for you.

Sickness 

If the child is sick, he would probably not feel like eating.  Fever, chills, cold, cough and even an upset stomach can cause disinterest in food. This is normal behaviour on the part of the kid, and it should be gone once the kid gears back to his healthy self.

How does the maestro mother feed her child?

Try different varieties of food. Try feeding appetizing meals. Squeezing a few drops of lemon can do the trick. Offering soups and light meals are also great ideas. You may also give him Anardana Goli to tickle his taste buds and change the bitter flavour of his mouth. 

Avoid giving unhealthy feasts just to fill the tummy. It might further deteriorate his health. Also, canned juices, desserts, snacks high in sugar is a total no-no as it destroys the healthy gut bacteria. 

If the kid refuses to eat at all, you may lean on the home-made electrolyte solution – salt, sugar and water. It will give him the required strength to sail through the sickness.

Constipation

Constipation or irregular bowel can be very common among young children. Keeping an eye on their bowel habits and bowel texture can help you in understanding their digestion better. Also, keep checking his tongue for clarity, if there is a white layer covering his tongue then probably that’s the reason your child is behaving nasty towards food. 

Another reason for constipation is an infestation. Keep checking their behaviour, if their butt itches and they behave cranky. Check the area and if you spot some white guys there give them a deworming dose!

These are the first things you need to check if their diet goes awry!

How does the fantastic father tackle it?

If your child has a tendency of poor bowel elimination, then you need to take special care for his water and fibre intake. Please understand this that it’s not ok to not pass stool. Give him ample fruits and veggies. Papaya and sweet potatoes are great natural remedies. 

If constipation is severe, then consult an Ayurvedic doctor or opt for natural remedies rather than dumping a series of pills into the little kid.

Lack of involvement

As the child grows, they develop a sense of independence. If the kid feels like he has no say over the meals, he would tend to rebel and take no interest on the plate.

How to tackle this?

It’s actually simple. Get the kids involved in the process. Ask them to join you in grocery shopping, respect their suggestions, ask them to assist you in cooking, request them to set the table. Discuss the nutrition and other details that each food offers. Turn a simple meal into an exciting knowledgeable interaction. 

The biggest mistake parents make is treating their kids dumb. Thinking they are too little to understand! Trust me the little ones are way smarter than you and me, treat them with love and respect and see them bloom into beautiful personalities.

Eating feels like a task!

Pressurizing the kids to eat their meal or clear their plate is the worst way of ensuring nutrition. Shouting, screaming, beating, threatening, offering baits or any such trait should be consciously avoided! If the child feels pressurized, they will get anxious and back off from the table. Also, the food eaten with negative emotions is no less than poison for the body.

How does the smart parent handle the tantrums?

Telling them interesting stories, involving them in positive interactions and respecting their will to eat or not eat is the best way to deal with such situations. My wife used to narrate tales of Ramayana and Mahabharata to my son every day during their meals. This not only helped in feeding his body but also enriched his mind.

Many times, there might be subtle health problems that are causing this disinterest. Also, some times, it might be one of those days when the kid does not feel like eating for no reason. As such, respecting his desires is the best way to deal with it.

Wait for those little pockets of the day when the kid feels hungry and he will automatically lick off the plate without any pushing! Just make sure you offer them healthy meals at those times. Don’t go a quick bite of burger or bread, chips or artificial juices to satiate the hunger!

If he missed his main meal, give him fruits or sprouts salad with sprinkled herbs and spices. Get innovative and make your own creative recipes.

Try this amazing Ayurvedic tonic – Aravindasava

Are you feeding the same stuff?

If you stick to the same plain routine food every day, then there is a great possibility that the child will get bored at some point and might start hating the food even if he loved it at one point of time.

How do you beat the boredom?

Of course, adding variety to the plate is the key. Also, it is recommended to maintain a diverse plate to ensure that the kid gets a little goodness of everything. Even if you fail to change all the ingredients of the meal, then try to play with the flavours. Sprinkle lemon on some days and ghee on others, give them butter at times or add some flavours of spice if they like it to the same dish!

You can also get experimental with the shape and texture of the food. Make them curious about the food and see them munch on happily!

Addiction to distraction

In the modern world, this is a new problem that millennial parents have to deal with. If the child is hooked on to the screen then his eating is sure to go hay-way. Inculcating a habit of mindful eating is very important right from the beginning. 

How do you accomplish it?

Remember, the best way to teach a kid is through example. Keep your hands off the gadgets on the dining table. Practice gratitude prayers and family bonding over the dining table and they will feel happy to enjoy that space. 

5 things to care while feeding the child –

  • Keep the portions small.
  • Don’t offer excess milk or juices.
  • Give him the time in between meals so that hunger kicks in.
  • Stay away from too many snacks
  • See if the child is too tired

5 tips to follow for right feeding– 

  • Educate your child on healthy eating.
  • Avoid emotional tricking.
  • Don’t be too strict on portions.
  • Lead them by example rather than words!
  • Don’t spoil them over junk and then show aggression over their behaviour.

Hope these tips will help you to forge a healthy relationship with your dear kid over a plate of food! Please feel free to share your experiences or concerns and help others find a solution to their unique set of problems as well!

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10 comments

Shweta November 4, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Wonderful article.
Very well explained sir .and a wonderful suggestion to manage the beautiful relationship of parents and child.

Always there a new learning in your writing sir
Love to read and understand the reality better in different aspects.

Thanks a lot sir

Reply
Dr. Brahmanand Nayak November 12, 2019 at 6:49 am

thank you shwetha

Reply
Maitreya November 4, 2019 at 2:34 pm

Great article Dr. Timely guide on various options to build a healthy eating habit for my kid.

Reply
Dr. Brahmanand Nayak November 12, 2019 at 6:48 am

thank you maithreya

Reply
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