Indian Culinary tradition is unparalleled. Our love of eating, feeding and culinary indulgence is well known. However, the new generation is faced with a new disorder- that of consuming food! It may sound absurd, isn’t it, but ask any parent and 9 out of 10 parents will complain that their child does not eat properly and ask for some tonic. This is a growing phenomenon. Let’s see some types-
Refusal to eat – This disorder is prevalent in children between the age group of 10 months to 5/6 years. They resort to playing, looking elsewhere or excuses when it is time to eat. They totally refuse to eat anything nor are they willing to eat anything. Something that can be eaten in 10 to 15 minutes takes an hour. Over indulgence by parents, adamant parents, the child’s desire to seek attention, discord at home makes the child irritating which results in this disorder. Maintain fixed timings to feed the child so that there is a consistency in eating.
Food faddism: Being too picky in eating, consuming junk food instead of a balanced one, laying emphasis on fried and savoury food like kurkure, farsan, sweets, chocolates, refusal to eat vegetables or rice is called food faddism. This disorder is more prevalent among school going children. Kids usually emulate others and learn, hence it is important that the adults in the house have meals in time and consume a balanced diet themselves. Maintain the time for having meals together and stick to it. Avoid eating at the living room as you watch the TV. What is required is a good habit, which can prevent complications in the future. Eating unwanted things like clay, small pebbles, flakes from the wall, pencils, etc. is called ‘Pica’ which is prevalent in children from the age of 8 months to around 4 years of age. A child being devoid of his mother’s affection, ignoring the child, certain mental disorders and most of all, malnourished children keep eating such dirt.
It is important to find out the nutritional deficiency in malnourished kids and treat them accordingly. These kids are more susceptible to worm infestation. It’s important to include iron, calcium and zinc in the diet. The child must get appropriate care and affection from the mother or it will lead to a feeling of insecurity. Homoeopathy has medicines like Cina, Calceriacarb, Pulsatila,Silicia which can be used to treat such children who can grow perfectly healthy.
Anorexia Nervosa- This disorder is prevalent among adolescent girls. Since it is in vogue to be slim these days, girls try to lose weight with forced fasting and avoiding eating. However, this leads to weakness, under-eye dark circles, menstrual disorders, depression, etc. This disorder can also be caused due to sexual complexes about self or domestic or academic pressures. It is important to treat such disorders in time. It is possible to treat these girls with nutritious food, counselling and homoeopathic medicines.
Bulimia- Unrestricted eating disorder is called Bulimia and is also prevalent among adolescent boys and girls, especially boys. It exacerbates due to sexual complexes, worries, academic pressure, unreasonable expectations from parents and the resulting depression. When left untreated, it leads to extreme obesity.
It is the self-indulgent attitude of this generation that is responsible for these eating disorders. It is time we decide how to raise the future generations. Only responsible parents can shape the future of their children.
by-Dr Sonali Sarnobat
English Version credit: Mrs. Swati Jog