Children can be delightful when they eat or they can be fussy; either way it does not have to be a big concern for the parent. Each child has a style of eating food that is in accordance with their Ayurvedic constitution. What we need to realize is that there are different types of nourishment and that we need to balance them with the correct “diet for the child”. Nourishment happens on different levels.
1.- The level of the physical body.
Choice of organic, local and fresh food is a must for a child. The rule is to avoid processed food and engage the child in the 6 tastes. The 6 tastes will stimulate different parts of the brain and will keep the child’s Ayurveda dosha balanced.
2.- The level of the environment.
Steady routine, an orderly environment and consistent touch build the child’s strength and stability. The touch of the mother is not only a powerful medicine but also the most efficient tool to built trust, confidence and sense of protection.
3.- The level of the emotions.
The immature emotional body of the child has to be understood in two aspects. One aspect is the expression of the emotion and the other is the containment of the emotion. For that the mother needs to make an assessment of the “realness” of the emotion of the child. Sometimes the emotion is a way of manipulation while other times the emotion is a real release of impotency, fear or insecurity. Allow, but do not let the fire get to wild. “Express without repress.” That is a nourishment rule.
4.- The level of the Mind.
The nourishment at the level of the mind consists of 3 elements. The element of wonder, the element of inquiry and the element of discovery. The wonder is related to play and imagination; the enquiry relates to listening to the questions that the child had arrived at; and discovery has to do with facilitating to the child to discover his/her own capabilities and limitations.
5.- The level of the spirit
Nourishment from the spirit comes from the exposure to something greater than they are. To be in nature, in front of a large mountain, weather storm, or a big tree is a way to realize that there is a greater force than us, and for that we should be grateful and celebrate that we are part of that immensity. The nourishment from spirit should be tangible, and nature and nature’s cycles offer that opportunity to the child.
There is a hidden place of nourishment for the child; that is the mother’s mood. The child responds to the subconscious of the mother as a point of security and nourishment. The realness and stability of the mother towards the child is a source of great stability and nourishment.
As a child or as an adult, we are designed to nourish. The tools to learn how are the greatest secrets to a happy and balanced life.