Parents panic a lot when they find out that their child cannot digest milk. Some parents of underweight kids give me a reason that their child is not gaining weight because the Doctor has asked them to stop milk and its products. Not True! As adults, we do not drink milk and yet we don’t lose weight. So why must a child drink milk?
Yes, your child can live a normal life without Milk. All your child requires is a good amount of protein and calcium that milk supplies.
So, in this article, we shall share some options that give the same benefits as milk but are lactose free.
- Coconut milk – It make take some time for your to get used to this nutty flavour, but this milk shall provide proteins and good fats as well as helps in glowing skin and improves digestion.
- Soy-milk – This widely used variety of milk but I do not prefer promoting it much as studies show that too much soy and its products can cause hormonal imbalances. Hence, it shouldn’t be preferred on daily basis but safe to consume once in a while.
- Almond milk –Almonds are rich in good fats, contain a good amount of protein and calcium. When soaked, blend and strained it gives a good amount of nutrients.
- Rice milk – This easily digestible milk can be a great idea for kids with poor gut health. Even though it is great for the gut and heart, one cannot rely on this milk for calcium. You may have to supply some other calcium rich foods like nuts and oilseeds, vegetables and fruit rich in calcium along with this milk.
- Sesame milk – Talking about calcium, this milk may be having more calcium than the regular milk. It’s an excellent option for kids who are looking for muscle growth.
Rather than forcing your child to drink the regular cow’s milk, opt for other alternatives. Give your child a balanced diet and monitor the difference in your child’s growth.
Children with low lactase enzymes start losing weight when they are forced to complete their glass of milk or a piece of cheese. In such cases it’s best to move on and think of healthier alternatives.
Your child starts developing eating habits from the age of 6 months. And, as they grow they develop habits of the way they eat, the time they spend to eat, how much food they eat and what they eat. This is the best time to teach them about mindful eating, as they are growing and forming new habits.
Parents are usually concerned about what their children are eating, but they do not put much efforts into aspects like the timing of the meals, the way the child eats and how they eat. Right?
However, it is very important to take care of these small things to prevent a lot of serious illness like obesity, acidity, bloating, diabetes etc.
Keep a note of these points to develop mindful eating practice in your child.
Eat slow – “Maliza Chakula!” is a common phrase used by parents as they feel it’s their duty to make their child complete then food on the plate.
We should focus on telling children to chew their food properly, and to take time to complete their meal instead of just gulping it down the throat. Chewing food is the first step of digestion and skipping that can lead to a lot of problems in the future.
Eat only when you are hungry – I have seen a lot of kids munching on chips, sodas or sweets not because they are hungry but because its available in the kitchen. Teach your child to eat only when he or she is hungry.
Timings – Maintain the same schedule for food on daily basis. Do not have an early dinner one day, and eat at midnight on the second day. This will confuse your child’s hunger signals, and he/she may end up eating unnecessarily. If dinner time is at 7pm, let it be at 7pm every evening.
Enjoy good quality food – Whenever your child eat anything, make him/her think of how that particular food is going for the body, mind or brain. For instance- while eating carrots you can tell them that it will help improve their eyesight whereas milk will help them build strong bones.
When it comes to sugar candies, they won’t see much benefit and hence may drop the idea of having it frequently as they grow up.
Saying thank you – A simple gesture of being thankful for what we get to eat after a meal does make a lot of difference in our brain’s functioning. We tend to digest food better because we feel happy about eating something good. Say your meal prayers, or make a habit of sharing gratitude on the table before meals.
Deep breathe – Deep-breathe before and after meals will help supply oxygen to the gut for better digestion. Teach your child to take long breaths and exhale after every spoon of food they eat.
Avoid drinking water along with meals – Drinking too much of liquids dilutes the acids in the stomach which is required to digest food. Hence, drink water sometime after completing your meal.
Stress-free dining table– Let your child enjoy meals. Do not discuss any stressful event while having food. Let all your blood flow towards your gut to digest food rather than forcing it to flow towards the brain.
So, these are some easy mindful eating habits that need to be nurtured in all children.