Ayurvedic Childcare Tips For Toddlers
Our prakruti (unique doshic combination) is created at conception! So your little ones already have their doshic balance in place now. That’s why they are so different from each other.
Wee ones will thrive when following doshic principles, however they are also in kapha stage of life. Kapha remember is the builder, creator, lubricant, and structure. The little ones are growing at a rapid pace and need support in building a healthy foundation. Mostly with the little ones, they will let you know what they need.
For example, have you ever seen a toddler chow down on a stick of butter? Mine did that last week (with ghee of course!) after a series of days where she didn’t eat much, and she finally just wanted fat. “More ghee on my bread please, mama” and then she would lick it off, not eating the bread. Two minutes later, “More gheeeeee please, mamaaa…” and she flapped the soggy bread at me. And to honor her lil bod, I kept piling on the ghee. I figured she needed it because eating-like-a-bird (vata) the previous days were not nourishing enough for her. Suddenly, she needed fat, structure, and lubrication. My point is, don’t over think it too much. The little ones are likely to tell you what they need because they are still in their naturally balanced state, so they will likely make the right choices.
I try to really honor what my daughter is craving (she doesn’t eat junk), because she must need something in it. However, we are the guide, the boss, the mentor, the ultimate in their tiny eyes, so there are some things we can do to help them live more Ayurvedically.
Quick tips on how parents can help toddlers live Ayurvedically:
• Toddlers need sleep. A good lot of it, or they will fall to emotional and mental pieces.
• A consistent schedule where we lead by example including wake up time, meal times, nap time, sleep time.
• Make sure they are pooping every day.
• Eat with your toddlers, don’t let them sit at the table by themselves.
• Toddlers should eat what you eat, so they can taste everything and feel part of the community (1st chakra! the root). And, it will help you adhere to good choices on your plate too!
• Toddlers need a variety of healthy food choices (organic when possible) of veggies, fruits, healthy carbs, dairy and meat if you choose. Meat, more or less, is to let them try it. They will eat it if it jibes with them and if not, they’ll turn their nose. Always offer, but don’t force.
• Favor nourishing foods like organic whole milk, ghee, dates, bananas, mushy and easy-to-digest carbs. Favor warm foods.
• Do not mix milk and fruit. Give fruit at least 30 minutes to digest before giving milk.
• Do not mix yogurt and fruit. They don’t need yogurt (please refrain), although if you want them to have some, make a tasty lassi.
• No milk with meals, water instead.
• Oil (almond or coconut are my favs) massage after or before bath. And note: if you do before bath, choose bath toys that can be easily cleaned because the oil sticks to them.
• They need enough fats. If they don’t have enough fats, they can get cranky, constipated, acid reflux/heart burn, and poor sleep.
• Most of all, lead by example. In all you do, what you eat, what you say, how you say it, how you go potty, how you dress for the weather, how to get ready for bed, how to give to others, etc., All of it!
Your tiny tots are following you because they think you are the coolest thing on the planet – they love you so much. They are not only digesting their food but in the many ways you are showing them how to live. Powerful mama you are in so many ways!