Ayurveda and child care
Out of eight branches, one branch of Ayurveda is exclusively dedicated to child care called Kaumarbhratya.
Importance of child care in Ayurveda :
Every child deserves a healthy life. Healthy children in each family today means a healthy society tomorrow. Ayurvedic texts on child care deals with various ailments of children along with ways and importance of boosting the immunity power in children. The immune system acts as a shield for many infections that attack children. Therefore instead of treating the symptoms after the onset of a disease it is important to prevent it.
Kaumarbhratya is an important part of Ayurvedic texts which provides detailed facts and application of child care from the period of conception till the adolescent age. Even there are indications about the health of to-be- father and mother in the pre-conception stage to get a healthy child.
Holistic approach :
The holistic approach of Ayurveda emphasizes that a child should possess both physical and mental fitness to be more creative and sharp. It is parent's responsibility to provide physiological and psychological nourishment to child. The holistic approach of Ayurveda insists the following -
Every mother know no two children are the same. Each child has its own physical and mental constitution. Each physical and psychological quality are widely different even to children of same family. So if parents can understand their basic make-up, it is easy for them to meet the needs of the children. Vata predominant children are usually underweight, hasty and keep moving. Pitta predominant children can't handle delayed meals and they often express the fire in their personality as anger when disappointed. Kapha type children are often easy-going. But the parents shouldn't overlook the needs of kapha children since they are not as demanding as others.
It is easy to manage the children's needs if you can understand their prakriti. When we balance their inherent constitution, they could stay more healthy and happy.
A child's perfect health and performance is based on the food consumed. Ayurveda suggests a satvic diet which is easy to digest.
- Avoid packed, frozen and canned foods.
- Serve fresh, warm and cooked foods
- Ayurveda suggests milk, ghee, turmeric, ginger, fresh yoghurt, olive oil, rice and whole grains.
The consumption of too much junk foods makes your child less intelligent because the foods themselves doesn't have life in it. Researches show that additives used in junk foods can actually lower the IQ considerably.
Since children are in growing or kapha stage of life, it is important they are influenced by proper behavioral patterns. Since they need to acquire knowledge at this stage, the functions of the mind called dhi, dhriti, and smrit - learning, retaining and recalling should be working in a co-ordinated fashion. These functions would be disturbed if a child is denied nutritious diet, a secured and proper guidance of parents. A child is hale and healthy, calm, free of anger through out life only when a proper behavioral pattern is established. A child learns everything from its parents, it is important that they become a lifetime example of the virtue that they want in their child.
Ayurveda also suggests some herbal supplements. these formulas boost the immunity of the children and help them to remain balanced.
Conventional medicine doesn't attribute diseases to impaired digestion. But Ayurveda considered every disorder in body is related to improper digestion that results in the storage of ama in body. Immunity is directly related to digestion. A problem in digestion creates less vitality, less appetite and less sleep which makes the child dull and inattentive.
Knowing your child's individual physical constitution and offering them nutritious diet in an ayurvedic way along with healthy behavioral atmosphere makes them healthy, calm, successful citizens of tomorrow.