Are your children fasting for the first time this Ramadan? Most young Muslim kids look forward to Ramadan as an important rite of passage. It allows them to deepen their faith while understanding the significance of fasting.
Fasting during the holy month is one of five obligations that every Muslim must fulfil. Muslims fast from dawn till dusk for 30 days. Muslim children are encouraged to fast from as young as seven years old.
Tuanku Mizan Armed Forces Hospital’s dietitian Major Razni Shauna Abdul Razak shares some advice for children fasting this Ramadan.
Make sure your child drinks a sufficient amount of fluids daily to maintain hydration, especially water. Water will keep your child’s body hydrated from dawn till dusk. Limit their drinks that contain sugar, or diuretic beverages like sodas, black tea and coffee.
Keep junk food and fried food far from reach
Avoid consumption of salty foods. So, processed foods and junk food like kerepek and keropok, while tasty, can only increase their thirst. Fried food can also lead to tiredness and unhealthy weight gain.
Eat complex carbohydrates and proteins
Complex carbohydrates help to release energy slowly during the fasting hours. Meanwhile, proteins help fill up your child during their fast. Ideally, your sahur meal should include eggs, cheese, whole grain bread and fresh vegetables.
Avoid sugary food
Sugar can upset a body’s natural blood sugar levels. This can lead to mood swings and unnecessary cravings. So, instead of carbonated drinks, get your child to eat dates or drink fresh fruit juices to replenish their body’s reserves after a fast.
Goodness of yoghurt and fibre
Encourage your kid to eat fibrous food. Low-fat dairy products like plain yogurt and cheeses can be included in the diet as these helps to aid digestion.