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How do you develop healthy habits in children through the wisdom of Chinese Medicine?

The middle burner in Chinese Medicine is the heart of the digestive system. A vivid analogy of the middle burner is a fuel-burning stove that heats a house. Digestion is the stove and food is the fuel. The quality of the fuel determines the efficiency of the stove and therefore the warmth of the house, i.e. the health and energy of the body.

How do you develop healthy habits in children through the wisdom of Chinese Medicine?

The middle burner in Chinese Medicine is the heart of the digestive system. A vivid analogy of the middle burner is a fuel-burning stove that heats a house. Digestion is the stove and food is the fuel. The quality of the fuel determines the efficiency of the stove and therefore the warmth of the house, i.e. the health and energy of the body.

My experiences growing up gave me the best quality of knowledge in nutrition and good health. My mother, Dr. Ming Yin, is a pediatrician of Chinese Medicine for almost forty years. She studied and practiced with Dr. Shongzhao Tsao who is the 20th generation of Chinese medicine doctor in her family and practicing pediatrician. I am a proud mother of two beautiful healthy boys, age 8 and 5. I have taken the important knowledge I learned from my mother to raise my boys western-medicine free, and I have been sharing this knowledge with mothers and patients for many years.

Guidelines
The equivalent to efficient middle-burner in Western medicine is an effective metabolism. Good metabolism will "burn" the food cleanly, utilizing calories and assimilating vitamins and nutrients, giving the body energy for day-to-day activities. If your child's metabolism is appropriate for his/her activities and food intake, he/she will naturally maintain a healthy immune system.

  • To protect and promote the stomach-spleen:
    A newborns digestive system is extremely sensitive. Mothers need to provide the best food to fit their needs. This will strengthen the digestive and immune systems so they will be able to absorb the best nutrients and eliminate all toxins. This will provide anti-aging from day one.
  • Minimize consumption of cold food:
    This means foods and drinks which are chilled or frozen. If a food or drink has been stored in the refrigerator, it should be heated up to at least room temperature before being consumed. Cold and chilled foods weaken spleen YangQi and impair their digestion and absorption.
  • Avoid eating dampening foods and drinking too much liquid with meals:
    Dampening foods include milk and dairy products, citrus fruits and juices, sugar and sweets, and fatty, greasy, oily foods. Dampening foods weaken the digestive system, and will eventually lead to food allergies and obesity.
  • Tips for Newborns and infants
  • Mix Jin Yin Hua (5 grams) and Licorice (5 grams) together to make herbal tea. Give 1 to 2 teaspoons ONLY one time at birth. This provides a detox process to clean out the baby's colon.
  • The nursing mother must avoid cold drinks, too much fruit and dairy, to prevent the baby suffering from spitting up and colic.
  • At 5 months old start using cooked white rice congee, one to two teaspoons, three or four times a day. How to cook white rice congee: ½ cup white rice, 4 cups of water – bring to boil and simmer for one hour, or cook in crock pot on low overnight (8 hours).
  • At 6 months old alternate millet congee with the white rice congee. Cook millet congee similar to white rice congee preparation.
  • At 7 months old start to use carrots, sweet potatoes, and peas. Smash into baby food evenly. Introduce one kind at a time for one week to see if any adverse reaction.
  • At 8 months old introduce the following fruits, bananas, apples and pears. Scrape small amounts of fruit with a teaspoon to feed the child.
  • Only after one year old, introduce proteins such as chicken, fish and pork. Cook and blend using a food processor.
  • For teething, use herb Wu Zhu Yu & Huang Lian powder pasting on the bottom of the feet and give the baby Ultimate aloe vera juice.
  • For a colicky baby perform infant massage every day.

  • Tips for Toddlers
    Parents should provide freshly prepared fresh foods with a minimum of chemical preservatives or additives. Grains should be cooked thoroughly to allow for easy and complete digestion. Vegetables, on the other hand, should not be overcooked so as to conserve valuable vitamins and enzymes. Sugar, salt, oil and fat consumption should generally be kept low.

    Breakfast: It is best to begin the day with breakfast to build a strong digestive fire. In Chinese medicine, hot whole grain cereal, called congee, is an ideal meal to gently start digestive metabolism for clean, efficient, warm burning.
    Lunch: The digestive fire is strongest at lunchtime. Lunch should be the biggest meal of the day with the most variety. It should contain concentrated protein such as meat.
    Dinner: The last meal should be the smallest. It is best to eat a cooked meal of vegetables and grains before 7pm.
    Tips for sick children:
    For children with a cold, flu, fever, cough, diarrhea or ear infection: Rice congee and Ultimate aloe vera juice along with Chinese herbal formula. For children with chronic illness such as constipation, asthma, allergy. ADHD, autism and cerebral palsy: Chinese herbal formula combined with pediatric massage, acupressure and acupuncture. Please consult with a holistic practitioner.

    Health is wealth. Starting these practices early on and offering infant massage daily will give your child the advantage of learning ways of eating and living that start the anti-aging process from day one. Nutritious foods, a harmonious environment, nurturing touch and good quality sleep are the key to preventing illness. This is true for all of us no matter what age. Teaching our children healthy ways of being is a wonderful gift that will continue to give back to them throughout their lives.
    References
    The Tao of Healthy Eating by: Bob Flaws 1998
    Between Heaven and Earth by: Harriet Beinfield & Efrem Korn 1991

    Qiying Jiang is a licensed acupuncturist in Illinois and is certified by NCCAOM in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology. Her practice is in Willowbrook.

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