Frowning faces, tantrums, and kids whining to go back to school – isn’t this the common scene when festivals come to an end. Most of our little sweethearts always have a big taste for sweets, especially during the festive season. But can you really blame them, we all need to treat ourselves once in a while right? However, this often causes stomach-upsets and/or illness after a good festive celebration.
Clues to the blues
Over-indulgence of the sweet tooth generally results in excess consumption of refined carbs (especially sugar) and deep-fried foods. Get this:
- Excess sugar intake adversely affects the friendly bacteria present in the gut. This, in turn, weakens the child’s immunity. That means children suddenly end up with that cold that you kept away by saying no to ice-creams.
- Of late low-calorie sweets are in trend. But beware that these contain artificial sweeteners (like sorbitol) which end up fueling the bacteria that produce gases.
- We also know that foods high in sugar affect the behavior of children. So at the end of the Diwali party, you wonder if the kids are fussy because they have to go home or it’s because of the irritability that kicks in after a sugar high.
- You may end up spending the festive bonus at the dentist, dealing with cavities thanks to all the sweets the li’l ones binged on.
- High-fat foods (sweets/savories) take longer to digest than protein or carbohydrates. So kids may complain that they feel ‘stuffed’ and bloated.
- Also, fried savories like farsan are loaded with sodium that may lead to dehydration.
- Last but not the least children end up skipping proper meals either because of stomach-ache or because they have binged on sweets.
So how do you deal with the tummy-aches, diarrhea or constipation and so on? Here are some quick tips to avoid or overcome the problems.
- Make sure you include probiotic-rich foods that help the friendly gut bacteria. This can be as simple as curd rice, buttermilk or lassi, and fermented foods like idli or dosa.
- Before heading out to the party feed your children a vegetable sandwich, fruit bowl or a salad. This has multiple benefits
- Their stomach is partially full so they don’t binge on those tempting sweets.
- This way they don’t lose out on the nutrition if they skip the meals after the binge.
- They get the fiber that sweets and fried foods lack. This helps relieve constipation.
- Ensure they drink plenty of fluids (like water, tender coconut water, buttermilk) throughout the day. This can help ease the digestive issues, avoid over-eating and it can help prevent the cavities.
- Teach your children about portion control. This goes a long way in developing healthy food habits.