Though fasting till puberty is not obligatory in Islam, many children wish to fast during Ramadan. If you are planning to make your children fast for the first time this Ramadan, you need to follow few tips to make it easy and enjoyable for them
Preparing for Ramadan:
This is the most important part of your child’s first fasting. Understanding the basics of fasting according to the Islamic law, knowing why fasting is observed and the reward for it. It is only when your children have a clear understanding of fasting, that he/she will be inspired to fast. Full knowledge should be shared about the etiquettes of fasting like observing good behavior, helping the needy, avoiding excess talking or use of abusive language, offering prayers on time besides others. A clear understanding should be given on the importance of Suhur and Iftar as well.
How to work through Ramadan:
As the month of fasting starts, your children will go through changes in the eating and sleep pattern. To ease it for your kids, we bring you tips from Pediatrician Dr Kalpana Sengupta and Physician Specialist Dr Javaid Shah in Dubai.
1: Put your children to bed early to ensure they wake up on time at Suhur. It will also prevent them from being sleep deprived. Proper sleep will help them to stay attentive in classes.
2: Suhur must include healthy high energy diet besides milk and egg. Make fresh juices and other healthy drinks for children to help them stay hydrated all day. Consumption of fruits and vegetable is very important.
3: Let your children eat Suhur at ease without rushing. Make it enjoyable for them by sharing some stories of your first time fasting.
4: Let your children sleep a little late after Suhur. Eight hours of sleep and a day nap can help them through the day.
5: Make the day enjoyable for them by involving them in different acts of worship like charity, feeding poor children and praying with family.
6: Restrict your kids from high intensity exercises which may make them weak and thirty.
7: Involve your kids in preparing Iftar. Make their favorite deserts and dishes.
8: It is most advisable to break the fast with dates and water. Fried foods should be avoided as much as junk food. Intake of sugar rich foods and refined flour should be avoided. Homemade soups form a healthy meal which provides necessary minerals and salts.
9: Kids must avoid fasting without Suhur as it can make them weak. At the same time, they must avoid over eating.
10: You can offer your children gifts for completing the fast to help them stay motivated.