5 ways to keep your child’s digestive system healthy
From Ayurveda to common sense, everything tells you that if your gut is healthy, the rest of you is healthy. What you put into your body is also what shows outside, whether it is physically, mentally or emotionally. It is why Indian food systems have practices such as curds at meal times at least once a day and fasting now and then: the idea is to maintain a healthy gut so that the rest of you works well. Today, however, when not all meal times include freshly made food, when cooks do the cooking (and not you) and eating out is really common, maintaining the condition of your child’s digestive system can be quite a challenge. But it is an absolute must to do so. For easy passing of stools, for higher immunity and for good sleep habits, a healthy gut is absolutely essential. Here are some ways you can keep your child’s digestive system healthy without resorting to extreme steps.
1. Avoid overeating:
Basic, right? Kids tend to want to eat a lot of what they like. Unless you teach them self-control early in life, they’re never going to know that they need to wait for the brain to get the message that their stomach is full. Teach them to eat slow, and teach them to stop when they get just a little uncomfortable.
2. Drinking water and other liquids:
Drink away from meal times. A lot of households, Indian and around the world, have a habit of drinking water along with the meal. If you maintain that water should be drunk half an hour before or after the meal, you’ll find the digestion process and the eating experience is much better. Also, avoid aerated drinks. Opt for water.
3. Say no to processed food:
This does nothing for your child but indulge her taste buds. It is best avoided. There’s too much of everything that’s not good in it: sugar, transfats, sodium, preservatives — everything that’s really bad for your child and her nutrition!
4. Eating certain foods together and keeping certain foods apart from each other:
This may also help alleviate digestive issues. Food combining recognizes that the body requires specific mediums to digest certain foods, and that eating foods that require different mediums can slow down digestion. The main foods that should be kept apart are starches (i.e. breads, potatoes, rice, pasta) and protein-dense foods such as meat. Using food-combining principles to improve digestion does not mean a child can never eat a meat sandwich. It just means that some meals should be designed around proper combinations to help facilitate digestion.
5. Finally, eat mindfully:
Almost all kids we know these days eat in front of a device. Either the TV or a tab or a smartphone. Wean your child away from that habit. If she doesn’t eat without any of those, wait for her to get hungry, because she will get hungry, and then feed her. Eating mindfully recognises the effort used to make the food, it recognises the food itself, and therefore, helps your child develop a habit to eat correctly all her life.