Just as every person has a dominant body type or dosha so does each season. Fall and early winter are Vata (Winter) times of the year. Kapha (Spring) predominates in the late winter and early Spring. The warm seasons of late spring and summer are Pitta’s (Summer) domain.
Nature tells us that that spring is a heavy time of year relating to the structural parts of the body. Summer is hot and stimulating so connected to the digestive system and Wintertime is cold and dry, just like the dry leaves falling off the trees, water freezes etc. It represents movement in the body controlling the nervous system and the mind.
The Spring-type is at risk of imbalance in the spring lifecycle and the same applies for the other two seasons. So prevention is key to maintain balance. For example, it is important not to feed your children foods that will aggravate their tendency to make mucus and instead reduce cold foods and drinks, cheese, desserts, ice cream, cold cereal and milk, a Big Mac and pizza.
Foods should be selected according to the child’s dosha and the current season. For example, in the summer, the Pitta child should avoid sour foods and long exposure to the sun while the Kapha and Vata children should avoid cold foods or foods taken directly from the fridge especially in winter.
For example, white basmati rice tends to increase Kapha, but prepared with warming spices such as cumin and black mustard seeds, it will become balancing and digestible by people of the same constitution.
Kapha or Spring children are blessed with strong, developed bodies and have heavier bones. They tend to have strong muscles and larger-than average, heavy bones. Because their larger frames are dominated by earth and water, they tend to gain weight and have difficulty taking it off.
Kaphas also tend to be blessed with a sweet loving disposition, with a stable solidity to them. They also often have slow metabolic and digestive capacities. Their skin is often smooth, lustrous, and thick and tends to be on the oily side. They have a steady appetite and thirst, and can comfortably skip a meal and work on an empty stomach. Because of their slow metabolic rate, Kaphas who maintain health and balance generally enjoy a long life span. If they become out of balance however, they tend to become obese, one of the main causes of diabetes, hypertension, and heart attack.
Kapha children have a sweet tooth and love candy, cookies, and other sweet, salty, and oily foods. These foods unfortunately tend to contribute to water retention and weight gain. .
The most challenging time of year for a Kapha is winter and early spring, when the weather is heavy, wet, cloudy and cold. You will notice more production of mucus at this time of year. This happens because when sinuses get dry or irritated, the body makes more mucus in an attempt to increase lubrication. However, it becomes too much of a good thing as it clogs up sinuses and mucus membranes leading to congestion and a good environment for infections to develop.
So this is the time to start using the herb Turmeric. It is a very powerful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory herb. It also has tissue repair properties and can heal and repair damaged or irritated cells e.g. asthma, bronchitis, intestinal disorders, etc.
Out-of-Balance Kapha Children:
They tend to develop physical problems related to the water principle, such as colds, flu, sinus congestion, sluggishness, and so on. When out of balance Kapha can also become overly attached, greedy, excessively emotional, envious, possessive, lusty and lazy.
What Aggravates Kapha Children?
Eating dairy, heavy moist fatty and fried foods, drinking iced food or drinks, lack of exercise, routine, and sleeping during the day are all aggravating to Kapha, inducing fluid retention, mucous formation, lethargy and weight gain.
How to Balance the Kapha Child:
Getting plenty of vigorous exercise, eating light, dry, healthy foods and avoiding heavy ones, staying active and adding variety to routine all work well. Water should be taken warm.
Foods Tips for the Kapha Constitution:
The Kapha child should eat foods that are predominantly bitter, pungent, and astringent, as well as warm, light, and dry, and flavoured with warming spices, like cinnamon. Avoid mucous-producing foods for these children, especially in the spring when they can easily become aggravated.
- Most astringent fruit is appropriate, such as apples, apricots, berries, peaches, and raisins.
- Pungent and bitter vegetables are best, such as artichoke, broccoli, beets, celery, and leafy greens.
- Barley, millet, rye, buckwheat, corn are good grains for Kapha.
- Legumes such as aduki, mung, lentils, chick peas, split peas, and lima beans are also a must.
- Dairy products, (e.g. cottage cheese, goats milk, diluted yogurts) are acceptable in moderation.
- Only charole nuts are recommended.
- Sunflower, chia, flax seed are good in moderation.
- Grape, sesame, ghee, and sunflower are best.
- Sweeteners: like fruit juice concentrate and uncooked raw honey are acceptable.
Herbs and Spices:
- For digestion, use hot spices, such as: dry ginger, mustard seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cayenne and black pepper. *young children should not have spices in their food.
- For elimination, milk, ghee and rose will act as mild laxatives.
- For energy, include pungent or bitter tonics; garlic, cinnamon, saffron, ginger, myrrh, and aloe vera gel.
- For mind stimulation and clarity, use gotu kola, basil, myrrh, sage, bayberry, skullcap, and betony.
- Caution: The guidelines and information are not intended to be a substitute for qualified medical advice. Children have acute senses and are very sensitive to tastes. Serving bland food when they are young is the most supportive.
Here is a good recipe for the whole family in winter and especially good for Kapha (Spring) children and adults. The Book of Taste is a great on-line Reference Book written by Bhuvaneswari.