Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dealing with Eating Disorders in Childhood: Parents, Start Introspection!

Everybody will agree to the fact that our own changing lifestyles are playing havoc with our life. Instant food habits, long and stressed working hours, lack of ‘constructive’ entertainment and hobbies, utter lack of personal bonds with pals, so on and so forth. Well, diseases don’t happen to us suddenly; this is a known fact even among noted scientists and researchers. Certainly we as human beings inherit certain disease traits. But the acquired factors add the manure to already fertile soil of disease-proneness and the crop of ill-health emerges.

One of the fast-growing problems in above mentioned category is eating disorders. What are these? How do they develop? Can we do something about these problems; homeopathically and otherwise? Let’s see-

Some apparently uncommon causes that lead to eating disorders are:

* Childhood negligence of right eating habits-
I have been observing that this is one of the most important causes of eating disorders. Many parents come to us complaining about their child’s eating habits. Barring few cases, I almost always find myself preaching the parents (rightfully obviously) than saying something to children. Almost always parents wish that I should scold (in their words) their children or tell them something fancy so that they will agree to their parental demands about right eating habits.

I often end up asking parents how often you have taken efforts to improve your own eating habits. If you all know that children are the best imitators, isn’t it mandatory that as a parent you should follow certain norms? Many times we find that those parents who always complain that their child eats lots of chocolates and candies, are the parents who gave him candies for every (so called) good accomplishment by their child. And when the same child reaches an apparently non-manageable age, they complain about such tendencies.

Therefore, it is must to inculcate the right eating habits (along with the hygienic part) in the children right in the crib. Avoid bottled feeds to young children and if it is mandatory, follow the safety and hygiene norms yourself to ensure maximum purity. Do not fall prey to the demands of your children just for the sake of them. Be strict where you need to be for their sake.

It is seen that the irregular eating habits developed in childhood are often carried to adulthood leading to lots of serious disorders including diabetes and heart maladies. Remember, the lifelong health can be achieved by the right eating habits.

* Spending less time with children-

We can call them attention deficit eating disorders. Due to lack of parental attention or love, child gets into a bad habit regarding his eating habit, behavioral pattern or anything else. I have seen cases in which the parents stay away from kids whole day and when they return in evening, they tend to feed their child with all the nonsense food they bring from instant food shops. Also they tend to fulfill all demands of children, to annihilate their guilt of staying away from them whole day. Well, we can understand the need of staying away but we must not entertain the need of stuffing the tender tummies with all the things that tend to cultivate bad eating habits in the long run.

What does “spending quality time with kids” mean? It has become a fashionable statement by parents these days and when asked what your favorite hobby is, most parents answer nodding their heads positively, “to spend quality time with our kids!” Do we really do that? How many times have you sat besides your son or daughter while he or she eats wholesome food prepared at home? How many times in a week you take out time to play some “food-game” with him that will educate him about the positive and negative food items playfully? How many times your family has dinner together?

It is my earnest request to all parents to give sufficient time for their children and make them feel wanted and loved. This in turn will pay you huge dividend and your child will remain on right track as regards the eating habits. Just spend the following week like this and see the difference. Remember if you sit watching television or chatting online and shout on your child who is not eating as per your wish, you are committing a crime for which your son or daughter pays the price!

* Lack of physical activity

The recent global survey states that there is consistent reduction in the number of children playing out in the playgrounds. And there is consistent increase in the number of children playing computer games, video games, and watching television. What does this suggest? Certainly being computer-savvy is essential but this must not compensate for their play-time outside the house. Build awareness about physical fitness in children at very young age. Regular physical activity helps induce natural appetite and child tends to eat well. But it is important that when your child is hungry, give him good food to build up muscle tissue and avoid fatty stuff that burdens him or her with empty calories.

Apart from the above mentioned causes, the genetic factors, financial factors, and familial relations are some of the etiological factors those lead to disordered eating habits in children. The end result is either undernourishment or obesity. Sadly enough, obesity in childhood is fast becoming one of the global problems that need to be tackled at root to avoid future problems like hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia.

How homeopathy can help?

As I always say, unless the above mentioned factors are corrected, no treatment will be of help. Firstly stop blaming your child and introspect where you are getting wrong. Correct yourself and Justify Fullthere are more than 50% chances that the child will get back to normalcy. But when the child needs further boost to improve his appetite and curb the innate tendencies, homeopathy can help.

Being a complete mode of therapy for child, once you resort to homeopathy, there is little need to think about any other treatment module for all the small or big problems that crop up every now and then. Homeopathic medicines act at the root level when properly selected. Proper selection of apt remedy depends upon right interrogation with the child and his parent/s. Yes, the constitutional remedy should be the soul choice while treating such inherent tendencies in children. It is well said that when the child’s inherent tendencies are properly groomed at early stage, there are quite good chances that he or she will grow up into a healthy and mature human being at later stage. What else do we wish as parents?

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