Delicious festive treats will be a staple in any household during the celebrated festivities, and even parents with strict rules tend to ‘loosen up’ a little to allow their children to experience the best of the celebrations. However, this period of oversight messes up the daily routines and eating habits of the young ones, and is a key catalyst in the weakening of their immune systems and overall physical health.
Although festive treats are a temptation both the young and old are unable to resist, as children lack the self-control compared to adults, they are more prone to stuffing themselves! This makes them more vulnerable to various gastrointestinal ailments, especially indigestion.
Being On High Alert for Digestive Problems
Gastrointestinal problems are a common problem during festive celebrations. As everyone is caught up with the preparations and the hustle and bustle of Chinese New Year, it’s natural for us to break our routines in light of the festivities. However, it causes our digestive systems to go haywire with these irregular and unhealthy eating habits. Children tend to forgo regular trips to the bathroom in favour of continuing eat and play sessions. It’s no surprise in a few days, you’ll have your kids complaining of constipation, abdominal pains, stomach inflammation, fever, and other health issues too.
One of the main causes of indigestion is over-indulgence. Children can consume quite the amount of fried, high-calorie and greasy foods that not only ruin the timings for their regular meals but also affect their daily nutritional intake as well, which upsets the digestive system’s and intestines’ abilities to absorb properly. Food will then accumulate in the digestive channels, causing discomfort and subsequently constipation. Constipation causes a variety of physical symptoms, such as sore throat, gastritis, stomach inflammation, tonsillitis and other ailments, and even fever, diarrhoea or vomiting in children.
As parents, we frequently worry about the wellbeing and health conditions of our children. Prevention is after all better than cure; by boosting your child’s immune system and taking care of their digestive and excretory systems, constipation can be prevented. Your child will be more than glad to be healthy this Chinese New Year!
1. How To Prevent Indigestion
- Eat smaller meals, and ensure your children eat balanced regular meals with lots of colourful fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Stay hydrated! Make sure they drink warm water, nourishing soups or fresh, no sugar-added fruit and vegetable juices.
- Avoid cold snacks or drinks as much as possible, as they affect the digestive abilities of our body.
- Increase their intake of enzymes that aid digestion and absorption of food; also able to ease discomfort from over-eating and bloating.
- All children have differing physiques, so not all fruits may be suitable for them to consume. Although eating chilled fruits does not contribute to constipation, it causes flatulence and abdominal pains instead, so take note.
Have Foods That Prevent Constipation
- Salt Water
Giving your children a glass of warm salt water early in the morning on an empty stomach helps stimulate their bowel movements, and it is able to easily and effectively remove the metabolic waste accumulated in the body.
Note: This is a good quick fix to ease constipation, but not recommended as a long-term solution.
- Natural Honey / Molasses
Drinking this on an empty stomach in the mornings will help to regulate their metabolism and gastrointestinal immunity while easing defecation.
Get your children to take probiotics on an empty stomach in the mornings/evenings, or consume fermented foods with these good bacteria in them, which aid digestive health and inhibit the growth of bad bacteria. It also strengthens the digestive system.
- Brown Rice
Brown rice is rich in fibre, which is good for smooth bowel movements.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C relieves constipation and enhances immunity. Take 500-2000 mg of Vitamin C daily.
Note: Not a good long-term solution too, as excessive consumption of Vitamin C causes diarrhoea.
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil not only improves the immune system, but is a natural laxative and cleanses the digestive system well. On an empty stomach, feed your children 1-2 teaspoons (5-10ml), or drizzle or use coconut oil in their regular meals.
Elements That Should Be Part of Their Daily Routine
- Outdoor activity : It’s great for your kids to sweat it out through good old-fashioned outdoor play. By increasing the levels of physical activity, bowel movement is accelerated.
- Enough Rest : Not having sufficient sleep can affect their appetite and immune systems, so encourage afternoon naps for your kids!
- Emotional Balance : Children tend to go overboard during their playtimes, which may cause their digestive systems and sleep patterns to go haywire. Parents should take note of their kids’ emotional well-being and encourage them to rest and relax more.
Are your kids ill? Worry not!
Don’t panic if your kids are sick! Believe in the body’s innate ability to self-heal. Being sick is actually the body’s way of communicating a warning that it is in a state of imbalance, reminding us to help restore it to its full proper working order.
Be by your children’s side and allow them to rest more. Rehydrate and supply the body with all the nutrients it needs, and feed your children easy-to-digest meals like porridge or soups. Adjust their daily schedules accordingly and refrain from processed foods and excessive play, and the body will naturally bounce back to its optimal state of health after a while. If the aches or fevers are prolonged, do seek medical attention immediately.
The key to maintaining your child’s health and vitality is their immune systems. Pay more attention to your child’s eating habits to ensure a healthy digestive system and to lessen their tummy troubles. Good bowel habits should also be encouraged. By boosting the natural immunity and self-healing abilities of your child, you can be sure that they will not easily fall victim to illnesses anymore!