Ragi and sex education

Ragi and sex education

Ragi and sex education.

 

Someone from India especially south India, if they lived here in the last 100 years would have definitely started their solids journey with ragi porridge. (koozh/kurukku).

 

Because I take workshops on the topic, Most of you know I did baby led weaning(introducing finger foods & not pureed or mashed food) with Maya and we really didn’t introduce any porridges for the first 3 to 4 months. We tried oatmeal from when she was 10 months or something but porridges were never a favourite.

 

But she refused ragi porridge always. So I never gave. My family was shocked. How can a South Indian child be introduced to solids without ragi?

 

Well she did eat ragi dosa, ragi idli even ragi sevai. A couple of times I had introduced ragi porridge but she always took a good look at the brown mushy concoction, made a wierd face said a big NO. After around 3 trials, I didn’t bother making it too.

 

She was never a fan of porridge consistency foods & despite the extensive pressure to feed her porridges, I never ‘made’ her eat anything she didn’t like or said NO to.

 

But patience paid off.. My child over here is eating Ragi porridge happily now. ! She’ll turn 7 this month. It took 7 years for her to even taste it, which is apparently THE most common first meals in South Indian households.!

 

I just realised, I’ve always listened to her NO s. It was very important to me that consent is practiced in non-sexual situations so that when time comes she can apply it in sexual situations too.

 

Food is the best way to make a person understand what their body is trying to communicate. As parents we should not mess it up. Because if on one side we don’t respect their NOs for meal times- which takes place minimum 3 times a day, which will be 21 times a week, and more than 1000 times a year and if you continue disrespecting their NOs, from 6 months to 4 years and suddenly attend a sex ed class & teach them that they need to tell NO when their body tells them to – that confuses the hell out of them. Because all the while, no one told them to respect body cues!

 

Parents need to understand that body feeling unsafe with someone or uncomfortable with something is the body’s way of communicating. Simply talking about sex education without understanding body autonomy & its innate inbuilt communication system is futile.

 

Do not think sex ed is only about sex. It is about Food, it is about satiety & fullness, and the way a child responds to what their body is trying to communicate.

 

Can you tell exactly when you are about to get full.? Do you respect your body cues? Do you know when to stop eating or to eat mindfully?

 

 

Telling No is a lifeskill.

 

Sex-ed is everywhere.

 

Even in the plate of food in front of you.

 



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