One question that I often get asked is how do you incorporate Ayurveda with your son? I thought I would share a few basic tips on how to introduce Ayurvedic concepts into a younger kiddos life.
1. Introduce all 6 tastes -spicy, sweet, astringent, pungent, sour, bitter
Here are examples of food items for each of those tastes listed above as they are entering this stage you can start making sure you have some of these items on hand to keep encouraging your child to enjoy many different tastes. (I also know this doesn't always work as my 3 year old is still in a picky stage and he was exposed to many food items which he used to love as a baby)
Sweet- Grains, root vegetables, nuts, meats, fruit - Best seasons to enjoy these foods- summer, fall & early winter
Sour- Yogurt, sour fruits, fermented foods, citrus, pickled foods- Best seasons to enjoy- Fall & early winter
Salty- Seaweed, pickles, celery- Best seasons to enjoy- Fall & early winter
Pungent- Onion, garlic, radish, cabbage, most spices, peppers & horseradish- Best seasons to enjoy- winter & spring
Bitter- Leafy greens, bitter vegetables- Best seasons to enjoy- Spring & summer
Astringent- Beans, dried corn, millet, rye, nuts- Best seasons to enjoy- spring & summer
2. Nature journal
My son has loved starting his nature journal this season. How do you create one? You need a notebook, crayons, markers and a trip outside. When we go on our nature walks I let Jalen pick up sticks, leaves, rocks, grass, or flowers. I also have him remember what a waterfall or river looks like that he might want to draw when we get back home. He brings all the items he found and we put them on the table and he draws them into his notebook. We then put the materials in a spot in our yard so he can see them even after he's done writing in it.
3. Dry brush & Oil Massage
This is something I practice with Jalen before bed. We get out his lavender diluted oil and his dry brush. I dry brush his legs, arm and belly as I sing a song to him. I then put on the oil on his body and his forehead and ears.
4. Sounding Breaths
When he gets angry or frustrated and needs to calm down, I tell him to sigh it out. He takes a deep breath in and says ahhh as he breaths out until he has calmed his body down. He really responds well to saying the emotion he's feeling and using breath to come back to a level state.
When I get out my yoga mat Jalen loves to grab his mat and roll it out with me. I even have found Cosmic Kids yoga on YouTube to be a big hit with him as well. If he's looking for something to do in the afternoon if I workout at home, I put on yoga for him and he's entertained and I can squeeze out my workout.
6. Open ended play
I like to have time in our day to just play. No rules, he can just find what he's interested in that day and go to town. I will bring down special toys such as his "fun box" which has rice in it and many other small items for him to play with and use tongs, buckets, etc.
7. Using imagination
I tell him anytime he is in a long car ride and gets antsy to use his imagination. He's created many games that he plays with himself in the car now. He also creates his own truck games at home that will entertain him for hours.
Like everything in Ayurveda you do what feels best for you. You don't overdo things and you start with one thing. See what would be best for your child to do and explore that area.
Wanting to explore Ayurveda a little more?
Check out my free Ayurveda for the Modern Mama guide. Learn how to start introducing basic concepts into your families lives.