More Back-to-School Tips Every Parent Must Know (Part 2) - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

More Back-to-School Tips Every Parent Must Know (Part 2)

By on August 20, 2015

If you didn’t read Part 1 of this article yesterday, be sure to take a look! And now we continue with more tips for back-to-school health…

Tip #3: Stay Hydrated

In 1850, the average American drank one can of soda per year. Today, kids drink two to three cans of pop per day. A report in The Lancet said that these sugary drinks increase the risk of obesity by 60%.

Soda, as well as any caffeinated beverage, will dehydrate the body. So to avoid dehydration, a kid must drink one 12 ounce glass of water for each 12 ounce caffeinated pop.

Dehydration in kids can cause stomach aches, hormonal problems, weight concerns, fatigue, mood swings, poor focus ability, skin conditions, and much more.

An average person can lose two to three quarts of water a day through non-exertion. With exercise, a child can lose twice that amount. For kids doing sports, a 2% loss in body weight due to perspiration creates a 25% loss of their athletic ability.

Solution: Put water bottles in your kid’s lunch – not high fructose corn syrup, sugar cane or juice concentrate juice boxes. At least, have them drink a large 8-12 ounce glass of plain water every morning and evening and give them water with lunch. A good rule of thumb for active kids is to drink one half of his or her ideal body weight in ounces of water per day to avoid dehydration.

Tip #4: It All Starts in the Digestive System

I often ask my kid patients how often they move their bowels. I usually get a blank stare. They have no idea”their parents have no idea. When I tell them it is normal to go at least once a day, first thing in the morning, they often tell me they go 1-2 times a week. Parents have to help their kids track their elimination and know what is normal. If they know what is normal, they can be educated to tell their parents if their elimination is off.

Sluggish bowel function causes the villi of the gut to congest. The villi feed both nutrition and waste into the lymphatic system on the outside of the gut wall. It is here that experts believe 80% of the body’s immune system lies. So, regular bowel movements are key to optimal health and immunity.

Solutions:

1. Veggies are critical for optimal elimination. Remember, the cellulose in veggies literally attaches to toxins and escorts them into the toilet. Kids innately mimic mom and dad, so if your kids see mom and dad eating a ridiculous amount of veggies at each meal, just watch those once-disgusting vegetables get gobbled down by your kids. It’s a monkey see, monkey do thing!

2. If sluggish bowels are a chronic concern, try an herb called Triphala (sometimes spelled trifala) This bowel muscle tonifier helps the intestinal wall function efficiently without the use of habit-forming laxatives.

3. Avoid late heavy dinners. They are tough to digest and a fast pass to poor elimination. Of course, sometimes you cannot avoid a late meal. In my house, if we splurge and have a late pizza delivered and watch a movie, I give my kids an herb calledWarm Digest before we eat. Warm Digest supports upper digestive strength so the heavy meal will not sit there and cause one to miss their morning bowel movement.

Tip #5: Controlling Mood and Focus with Food

According to Ayurveda, the middle of the day represents the best time to eat the largest meal of the day, as this is the time when the body can digest a meal most efficiently. This can be tough for school kids.

In the afternoon, when America is craving chocolate and coffee, the brain is demanding the lion’s share of the available blood sugar. If all they had for lunch was a cookie or a snack (a common lunchtime meal), then the blood sugar may crash in the afternoon. This is why kids are ravenous when they come home from school. If possible, leave a good healthy meal on the stove for them when they get home from school. Try not to just give them a sugary snack at this time. If they are craving sweets in the afternoon, it may be due to low blood sugar. A sweet snack here will only start the high/low rollercoaster of unstable moods and blood sugar.

When blood sugar is low in the afternoon, the body and mind must strain to muster the energy needed for afternoon activities. This low afternoon energy may lead to ups and downs in mood, low energy, lack of focus, and eventual weight gain. When a child is then asked to do homework with crashing blood sugar, this is an impossible task.

The Solution: Plan on feeding them well shortly after they come home from school! No sugary snacks at this time!

Also, if possible, pack your kid(s) a big, healthy lunch to provide the energy necessary for afternoon activities.

(This article was excerpted from John Douillard’s book Perfect Health for Kids.)

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About Dr John Douillard

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP, is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda, and sports medicine. He is the creator of LifeSpa.com, the leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web. LifeSpa.com is evolving the way Ayurveda is understood around the world, with over 700 articles and videos proving ancient wisdom with modern science. Dr. John is the former Director of Player Development for the New Jersey Nets NBA team, author of 6 books, a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, and featured in Woman’s World Magazine, Huffington Post, Yoga Journal and dozens of other publications. He directs LifeSpa, the 2013 Holistic Wellness Center of the year, in Boulder, CO. For more information visit www.lifespa.com.

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