Everybody is not the same. This was taught to us by our parents, preachers and professors from a very early age. Modern medicine has made terrific discoveries at the expense of this very fundamental reality. As soon as a product or procedure passes the stringent process of scientific review, it is applied universally. The wisdom of metabolic typing pre-dates modern medicine. Its roots are in Ayurveda. Ayurveda is sanskrit for “the study (wisdom) of life”. Until now, Yoga is probably the only Ayurvedic method widely practiced in the US. The philosophy of Ayurveda explains our differences in a metaphysical paradigm. We all know the five elements; ether (space), air, fire, water, earth. These are called the Pancha Mahabhutas. It is understood in Ayurveda that each human contains all 5 elements. There is space in our sinuses, air in our lungs, fire in all metabolic processes, water in our sinovial fluid, and earth in all the many minerals in our cells. The proportion of these elements in each body is where we differ. There are three bioenergies called Doshas. (I will use “dosha” and “metabolic type” to identify the same concept.) Vata people are made predominantly of ether and air. Pitta people are predominantly made of fire and water. Kapha people are predominantly water and earth. Of course this is not meant literally however, it is used to explain the tendencies and metabolic disparities that vary from person to person. This is why some complain of the cold while others are hot, some can eat cheese cake all day and not get fat and some can drink a cup of coffee right before bed. Some differences are cultural and ethnic. This categorization (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) serves to explain that which is not a regional or ethnic quality. There has been much success in taking these body compositions in to account when designing diet and exercise plans for those who seem to be stuck in a rut.
Now the question is weather to apply this philosophy to the diets of children. The answer lies in yet another metaphysical categorization from Ayurveda. Ones lifespan is also divided in to the three doshas. From birth to puberty is the Kapha period. Like a Kapha person, a child in this period of life will easily gain weight. This is because Kapha is heavy (earth). Kapha is also moist (water). This quality leads to an excess of mucus which leads to frequent ear, nose and upper respiratory infections. Every child has their own metabolic type to consider however it is my opinion that the Kapha period of life is more important. After all, save for rare and extreme cases, no child should be on a fat-loss diet to begin with. Feed children whole and natural foods according to their Kapha age no matter what their metabolic type. This means that heavy and starchy foods will aggravate the Kapha and lead to the ailments mentioned above. The main job of a parent is to ensure that their child is able to thrive in mind body and spirit. A good clean diet will help any child irrespective of their metabolic type.
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