Some readers asked me about the Ayurvedic style of feeding my daughter that I have mentioned in my earlier blog :
So, I thought of putting it down in my next blog… These are the steps I take
1) I feed her every 2.5 / 3 hours..I normally know she is hungry when she gets little cranky or she crawls to her high chair…if I don’t understand her signs then ultimately she tries to eat my arm or my cheeks to show me she is hungry… Basically she is saying, give me food or I will eat YOU 🙂 …….Again, if she is unhappy in the high chair, although its meal time, I put her down to play and digest some more… Ayurveda says always eat only when you are hungry for best digestion…
2) I make sure her chair and table are clean…the logic is that I wouldn’t want to sit on a dirty chair myself …. I also clear the dining table in front of her…She has her own high chair table but I still clear the dining table of all papers, files, laptop & other miscellaneous stuff to give her a pleasant view… Ayurveda says to eat in clean surroundings with sufficient light
3) I stop any music that had been playing and switch off the TV in the background… Again as per Ayurveda there should be no distractions
4) I give her steamed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, beans, peas, potatoes and fruits like apple, pear, banana , cantaloupe, peach , Indian food like suji halwa, khichdi, roti soaked in dal , dal chawal …. I also give her Gerber pouches when we are out… I give her different kind of stuff of different colors everyday to maintain interest... I remember I gave her Avocado too often in the beginning..now she doesn’t even want to see it !
5) 90 % of the food that I give her is cut into a big size for her to self feed.. I roll up her sleeves, put two bibs and keep one piece of the food on her table…. Imagine cutting a crescent shaped piece of a cantaloupe and keeping it on your child’s table…My daughter relished it …the juice flowed down her wrist into her sleeves.. her whole mouth was sticky… but you know what ? Her eyes were twinkling as if she had had the best meal ever ! She just loved it…
So barring Khichdi , Halwa and dal chawal, she eats everything else on her own… Even for these three items I give her some on her table so that she can feel the texture and smell the aroma while I feed with a spoon...So the Ayurvedic method of eating for best digestion is to involve your five senses… for e.g.
a) She sees the rich green color of Broccoli…Her digestion process starts as soon as she sees her food… You can literally see her mouth watering !
b) She feels its texture in her hands when she holds it
c) She smells the aroma
d) She tastes the Broccoli
e) She hears the crunchiness of the Broccoli when she bites it
6) I never steam the fruits… I have tasted steamed fruits and I find they taste very odd…. I don’t even make any purees…. I take care not to over steam the vegetables otherwise they get too soft to hold…Its surprising how much a carrot’s taste can change depending on its softness!! My daughter rejects extra soft vegetables immediately !
7) After she stops eating and starts throwing, I give her milk… I don’t know how many ounces she drinks in a day because I never bothered to check…I just ask her if she wants more milk after her burp…She decides how much milk she wants which changes at every meal depending on how much she has eaten… Once she has had milk, I don’t ask her for food again till next meal time…
8) Many times if she doesn’t like something I ask her if she will like some salt and I add salt to it..If she still doesn’t like it I remove that food and give her something else…and if she just wants milk rightaway then I give her the milk. As per Ayurveda, if you don’t like the taste of something, you will not digest it well.…. I never control what and how much she eats from what I have offered her.. I decide what all she can eat and where she can eat…She decides when she wants to eat and how much …
9) Whenever we go out I always give her stuff from my plate to taste... It could be toppings from my pizza or a cake …She normally looks at me expectantly with the expression “Akele Akele Khaa rahi ho ?” (“You are enjoying alone ha ?”)
10) I try to prepare her food with love as often as possible. The energy of the cook is always in the food. We eat not only the food but the emotions of the chef !
11) The most important thing I do is I am never ever in a hurry when she is eating… I remember that I had started working when my first born (son) turned one year old …I was always in a hurry to feed him so that I could leave for office … and as it always is the case, he used to take longer and longer to eat ! I used to feed him one spoon and keep the next ready for him…Now I feel that is very pressurizing for the child to eat fast ! Also I didn’t like him dropping crumbs on the table and kept cleaning while they dropped…Its actually so annoying na ? Now, I don’t care… drop as much as you want…we can always clean it later !
I don’t like anyone dictating terms with me for my food then why should I NOT let my children enjoy their food !
The source of my Ayurvedic knowledge is the following books and one website…As you can see I am a fan of Ayurveda !
- Live Well – The Ayurvedic way to Health and Inner Bliss by Jane Alexander
- Anjum’s Eat right for your body type inspired by ayurved
- Yoga and ayurved for Health and Fitness by A.G. Mohan and Indra Mohan
- Discover the secrets of ayurved to balance your mind, body and soul by Anna Selby
- ayurved – Guide to Traditional Indian Medicine for the West by Frank John Ninivaggi
- The handbook of ayurved – Dr. Shantha Godagama
- Talk on Nurturing life with ayurved – How to empower yourself and your family by Ann Revington, international Ayurvedic therapist, Director of Sri Sri ayurved Institute for Education and Wellness
- Website : http://www.chopra.com/community/online-library/terms/agni-ojas-ama
One of my readers has recommended this book by Ellen Satter about getting your kids to eat:
Check it out…
Hope this helps !
Till then, Enjoy your child 🙂