Monday, February 10, 2014

Food intake - How many times in a day?

Sahana, 6th standard girl came with her mother Shashi for consultation. Sahana was suffering from pricking pain around the umbilicus and irregular bowel (passing stool) movements. First 2 months some how they managed with medicines prescribed by the doctors.  But when the medicine course end, she was feeling good for a week and again the same problem reoccurred. She managed to get the medicine again but after some days the same saga continued.  

Sahana's mother Shashi was a working women, but very particular about food. So she use to give fresh food, good quality food and she was well educated about the food items and their properties. She use to give only those foods which are good for them, the food items which are accustomed to their culture and habitat. I could not find out any mistakes in her families food habit. Shashi wants to know what is the actual cause behind Sahana's problem. She wanted permanent cure and precautionary measures in future. 

I went on to ask some questions about food timings and their I found some missing links and got the root cause.That one inspired me to write this blog post. Not only healthy food is important but intake of food is also important will be the conclusion.

Food intake timing of Sahana  
6.00 AM - Get up from bed 
6.00 - 6.30 AM - Brush, Toilet and Bath
6.30 - 7.30 AM - Break Fast and go to school
                             - Break Fast will be Idli, Dosa, Upma, Chapati etc which is very small     
                              in quantity and one glass of hot milk.
10.00 - 10.30 AM - Snacks break at school
                              - Fruits like Apple, Banana, Orange etc
1.30 - 2.00 PM - Lunch time, Same food what she eats for break fast
4.00 -4.30 PM - Full meals, Rice, Sambar, Curry etc.
8.00 - 8.30 PM - Full Meals

Problems found in Sahana's Diet
1. Her total intake of food in a day was 5 times. 
2. After 4.00 PM she takes 2 full meals which were heavy for her to digest.

Sahana was having food in regular interval, without knowing before taken food was digested or not? which hampered her digestion. If anyone eats something before the complete digestion of earlier food will cause indigestion. The same was in her case. She was having two meals after 4.00 PM which was too hard for her to digest. 

I made some changes in her Diet
  • Morning skipped the breakfast (6.30 - 7.30 AM) and told her to have one full glass of hot milk added with 1 teaspoonful butter (salt free) and sufficient amount of sugar. If fresh home made butter is available then it is best.
  • Bath will increase the appetite naturally, so after taking bath one should have food. So I advised her to have milk with butter which is a wholesome food and provides rejuvenation to the body. Early morning intake of Milk with fresh butter will improve the intellectual power and memory power. It is said to be a good for brain development. 
  • Snacks break at school (10.00 - 10.30 AM) advised her to take morning breakfast like chapati, idli etc.
  • Lunch time (1.30 - 2.00 PM) full meals with sambar and curry.
  • Skipped 4.00 - 4.30 PM full meal.
  • 7.00 - 8.00 PM full meal.


Here the main intention was to improve the digestion. Sahana should feel hungry for the next food time.

But Sahana asked me a question. "Doctor Uncle, I read in papers and heard from some elders that every 3 hours we have to take food and you say that only three times a day. Which is right?". I told her that what result you got will be the answer.  

This simple change in the diet chart with some medicines for quick recovery, made her completely normal and healthy and she regularly pass stool in the morning. She doesn't have any pain in the abdomen. After 15 days I stopped all the medicines and now is happy and feeling good. 

Now Sahana is educating her friends in school about the importance of food and timing of food intake. My dear friends what always hear the voice and reaction of your body not others. Your body will be the best teacher. 

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