After bingeing in the festive season, these Ayurveda tips are just right for a post-Diwali detox for kids.
By Samhitha Gomatam
During Diwali, try as you may, it is hard enough to hold up any diet plan. Kids gravitate towards sweets and fried snacks like honey bees, and why not? This is a time to break the rules. Diwali also means a culinary celebration at homes.
What follows Diwali bingeing though is that kids tend to experience tiredness, weakened digestion and dryness. This is because Diwali marks a seasonal change and shift to Sharad Ritu or fall season. The onset of dryness in this season can cause stiffness in muscles and joints in children, cracked heels, poor digestion and dehydration. Thankfully, Ayurveda has an elaborate system of self-care for every season, called ‘Ritu Charya’ that includes tips on what to eat, what not to eat, special detox treatments and a guide to seasonal indulgence, just right for a post-Diwali detox for kids.
This time of the year is called Pitta Prakopakala in Ayurveda, which means Pitta Dosha (fire and water element in the body) is vitiated around this time, leading to more digestive problems in the season. Here’s everything you need to know to prep your kids for the coming winter.
* Have plenty of water. This is the season to detox and there’s nothing like lots of water for some good kidney cleansing and flushing out of toxins.
* Soups and cooked vegetables are recommended as primary diet for this season in light to moderate amounts.
* Make sure you include probiotics like fresh curd in your diet, because digestion tends to be weak post Diwali and generally during the winter. The good bacteria from curd can help your intestines process food easily. This time of the year is addressed as Pitta.
* Add papaya, pomegranate and seasonal fruits rich in antioxidants like the pear and apple to your shopping list.
* Vitamin D3 is essential and you can make up for the lack of it during winter by taking vitamin D3 drops.
Do not consume:
Avoid anything fried, cheesy or baked. Avoid maida-based foods, processed foods and extra salt and sugar in the diet. Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, chickpeas and radish can cause bloating and green, leafy vegetables are to be avoided at night.
* Abhyanga, a full-body oil massage in particular, and regular oil baths in general help improve skin texture and keep it hydrated. With Abhyanga, the oil seeps into body tissues and oleates the body on a cellular level, also stimulating and nourishing the internal organs. It fact, in order to fight the excessive dryness we encounter this time of the year, Abhyanga is a must for children.
* This season, you may also find children complaining about joint or muscle pain more than at other times of the year. This is because according to Ayurveda, Vata dosha (the air element) in the body tends to be imbalanced in this season. Using Kshirbala oil, made from a herbal formulation prescribed by Ayurevda, to massage your limbs everyday can reduce Vata imbalance and is great for strengthening bones and muscles.
Children can purge the excessive toxins built up in the body during Diwali using these two simple recipes:
* Warm half a cup of milk and add 1 teaspoon of castor oil to it. Make children drink this just before they go to bed. This helps cleanse their stomach and liver. They may want to go to the loo 2 to 3 times next morning. But this will eliminate all the abdominal toxins. This can be done once a week.
* Take 6-7 neem leaves, add it with 1-2 gms of turmeric powder and make a paste of it. Take 1/4th of this paste with warm water first thing in the morning. This can be done once in 6 months and helps children de-worm. De-worming is a must during this time of the year.
* Children can have their colon cleansed once a week. Consult an Ayurvedic expert to figure out the best way to do it according to each child’s dosha constitution or body type.
Up the ante:
* Intense physical activity or sports like badminton and tennis or even dancing will warm them up and detoxify too! The muscles need to be well exercised during this season, without which they could stiffen up. Avoid swimming because of the cold weather.
* You can give them some honey, gooseberries and tulsi every day to build immunity and save them from a viral attack, an irritated throat and a running nose.
(With inputs from Art of Living’s Ayurveda expert and Head Doctor at Sri Sri Tattva Panchakarma, Dr. Mitali Madhusmita.)