Is Your Child Fasting This Ramadan? 5 Nutritional Tips to Follow + Child-friendly Recipes Inside!
Are your kids fasting this Ramadan? Here is what you need to know about maintaining his health while he fasts!
The holy month of Ramadan calls for a fast that lasts from dawn to sunset – mainly from food items and sexual activity – during the whole month. However, this rule differs when it comes to children – it is not mandatory for them to fast up until they reach the age of maturity, although some kids may express a desire to undertake a fast when they see their parents and older siblings doing so.
So how can you ensure that your little one is staying healthy as he begins to fast? Lack of adequate nutrition during his growing days can adversely affect the child – which is why it is important for you to follow these tips, to make sure that your child enjoys his Ramadan rituals!
5 Important Tips for Kids while Fasting During Ramadan
Here are a few things to keep in mind if your little one wants to observe a fast for Ramadan.
1. Take It Slow
It is actually recommended that kids indulge in gradual fasting so that their bodies can get used to going long hours without food once they’re much older.
If your child is under the age of ten, it is best not to extend the fasting window to more than a couple of hours – say from breakfast to lunch.By introducing them to fasting for short intervals and gradually increasing the length of window, their bodies will be able to adjust better to going without food.
2. Feed Them These Foods for the First Meal of the Day…
The first meal before undertaking the fast for the day, Suhoor, needs to cater to the needs of the child, so that he can keep up his energy levels for the time that he is fasting. It should also help to keep thirst at bay, and make the digestive process efficient. The meal should include a combination of nutrients such as complex carbohydrates, protein, and fibre – eggs, bread, cheese, dates and other dried fruits, fresh fruits, yoghurt, and milk can be your go-to options.
3. …and These for Iftar…
When it is time to break the fast, traditional ways are the healthiest. 2 dates, followed by a glass of water to start it off, before tucking into the delicious meals that await. Plenty of salads and fruits need to be included in their diet to make up for the lack of enough hydration during the day – and needless to say, they are packed with plenty of essential nutrients.
4. …and These in Between Suhoor and Iftar!
Water, water, and water! Hydration is of absolute importance during the time of fast for kids. Hydrating fruits, juices, milkshakes, and plenty of water is required not just to quench thirst, but also keep hunger pangs away.
5. Make Sure That Your Kids Avoid These Foods and Habits
Certain types of foods can make your child thirstier than usual and drain him of energy. Also, a sudden change in eating habits is bound to upset his digestive system. Ensure that your child stays clear of salty, fried, or fatty foods that can increase his thirst. Similarly, overeating at Iftar is not a good idea, because it will be too much for his stomach to handle at a time –
instead of letting them eat a heavy meal all at once, split it into two meals, so that it doesn’t overburdern their digestive system all of a sudden; spare the yummy cutlets, sandwiches, and rice for later. Sweets after a fast can cause a fluctuation in blood-sugar levels and leave him craving for more; for this, wait for 2 to 3 hours after Iftar to give him any sweets at all. It is also important to regulate his physical activities, because putting in too much energy into his activities at school or home can tire him out easier.
5 Recipes for Kids This Ramadan
1. Suji Kheer
Made in less than 10 minutes, this dish is easy to digest and makes for a delicious treat for kids and adults!
2. Macaroni Upma
Healthy, delicious, and colourful – your kids are going to love this treat!
3. Fruit-and-Nut Bars
A much healthier snacking option than processed sweets with low levels of nutrients – this is the best way to get your kids to fall in love with healthy food.
4. Hummus Dip
An ever-favourite dip that doubles as a healthy accompaniment to a meal! Hummus is the perfect side-dish for your little ones to slather his bread with; add a couple of veggies on the side for more nutritional value.
5. Yoghurt and Cheese Sandwiches
Perfect to fill his tummy and keep him happy too!
This beautiful season, keep your little one happy and healthy with these tips – and watch him learn and enjoy Ramadan more! Ramadan Kareem to all!
If you have any more yummy recipes that your kids absolutely love, you can contribute to our recipes section!