The Holy Month of Ramadan is a wonderful time of year during which you can involve your children in several aspects of this very special month. Appreciation, gratitude, charity, self-discipline and patience are all traits that can be learned especially in Ramadan.
In Islam, it is not compulsory for children to fast until they reach adolescence, which gives them a chance to understand how to fast appropriately and properly.
Ramadan this year falls in the summer months, and with temperatures already on the rise, dehydration is the main concern, especially for children, as schools are still on and they can be quite active during the day, and for them to carry on with their normal days without suffering, they need nutrient-packed foods that can provide energy for them to last all day. So, if your child is fasting this Ramadan, here are a few ways you can help them:
-Make sure they drink lots of fluids, especially water, after breaking their fast and until they go to sleep – on average, a 9-13-year-old child needs two litres of water during a day, while older kids, especially boys, need around 2.5 litres, to stay properly hydrated. Your child needs to make up their water intake during the non-fasting hours to avoid dehydration.
-Before dawn, wake them to drink water and if they can, have a little snack. But if nothing else, water should be given.
-Keep very sugary foods and drinks to a minimum as these will make them very thirsty the next day.
-Eating wholegrains, dried fruits and foods high in fibre will help them with essential , bathroom visits during the day!
-Protein foods are also important as they are very filling and provide a lot of energy.
-Stay away from sodas and fizzy drinks as these can make them very thirsty and affect their sugar and insulin levels drastically because of their fasting.
-At Suhoor, if they wake up, give your child a small meal that can provide slow-releasing energy – a bowl of Greek yogurt with bananas and pumpkin seeds, a slice of wholegrain toast with peanut or almond butter and banana slices, a bowl of porridge or oatmeal with bananas, berries and almonds are all great foods that your child can eat to help with their energy levels throughout the day.
-Tell your child to wash their face and neck with cold water throughout the day to keep cool.
-Make sure they don’t spend too much time outdoors.
-To rest after school and during the hottest part of the day when and if possible.
Check out Nutrition In The Early Years
Your child will enjoy fasting during Ramadan if his food intake is monitored his correct nutrient intake ensured. Your child must also understand that if he or she are feeling dizzy, faint, nauseous, have bad tummy aches or cramps or are generally feeling unwell, to tell you immediately or if they are at school to go straight to the nurse.
If done right, fasting can be a very rewarding, enjoyable and fulfilling experience for your child.
Ramadan Kareem from Mumzworld.