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Ayurveda For Children

 

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As every mother of two now, I know firsthand the way that no two children are alike. Just as one child may have black hair and another brown, psychological and physical needs can also vary widely from child to child.

In ayurveda, the health and creativity of the child is based on how much emotional, physiological, and psychological nourishment he or she receives from the parents. Basically, how good they feel. Therefore, if a parent can understand a child’s min and body type, their constitution, they can relate more to their child.

The three main ayurvedic mind-body types, or doshas, are vata, pitta, and kapha.

For the pitta child, since their internal fire is big, their anger can rise. So it’s better not to make promises but just to surprise them or present things when they are actually in place, because this child will become emotionally distraught when disappointed. Most children don’t eat spicy food anyway but the pitta child should avoid hot, spicy foods such as hot peppers, and should eat more cooling foods such as mango lassi, sweet fruits, and cooked vegetables. The pitta child is not the sort of child who can handle it well if meal time is delayed! Think- hangry tantrums. So mommy and daddy should have snacks on hand if dinner is going to be late. Even though this child may really enjoy competitive sports, they should avoid getting overheated, and should stay out of the sun for too long.

A typical vata child is quick to learn, always moving, and prone to anxiety and insomnia. This child thrives on a daily oil massage and abundant hugs, as the sense of touch soothes the vata dosha. While a regular daily routine, with regular meals and early bedtime is important for all growing children, it is absolutely essential with a vata child. And careful not to feed them too many vata-aggravating foods, such as dry cereals, raw vegetables, crackers, and cold foods/drinks.

The kapha child is the easiest child in a way and is more easygoing. However, it’s important for parents not to overlook the needs of kapha children just because they aren’t as demanding.This child should get involved in sports, as kapha children thrive on vigorous exercise but may not seek it out unless prodded. kapha children may be slower to learn in school, but can be excellent scholars if given time and patience. They have excellent long-term memories. They feel healthiest if they avoids heavy, cold desserts such as ice cream and cheesecake, and in general should eat light, warm foods such as soups and cooked vegetables.

Of course, most children won’t fall so neatly into these three categories. There are seven different combinations of these three basic types. A child might be vata-pitta, or pitta-kapha, or vata-kapha. Or he or she might be a combination of all three!

Knowing your child and their dosha is a big help while raising and caring for them. What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.

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