7 Tips to Take Care of Children’s Health During Ramadan Fasting
Maintaining children’s health during the fasting month is something that is important for parents to pay attention to. It is feared that changes in diet compared to usual days could affect his health. So, what should parents prepare so that their children are strong enough to fast?
How to Maintain Children’s Health During Fasting?
Compared to adults, children who undergo fasting usually have weak bodies and lose enthusiasm. Therefore, parents must meet optimal nutritional intake so that children can carry out activities as usual.
The following are some tips that parents must know so that their children stay fit while fasting, including:
1. Meet Children’s Calorie Needs
Meet the child’s daily calorie needs at dawn and breaking the fast. Especially for children aged 7 years, their calorie needs are around 1200-1600, depending on the activity and type of activity.
In addition, choose a menu of foods that are rich in fiber such as vegetables or fruits and foods that have a low glycemic index (GI). This becomes important for maintaining stable blood sugar levels for longer.
2. Consumption of Supplements
Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins for children during the fasting month. However, if the consumption of fruits and vegetables as a source of vitamins is limited, parents can provide multivitamin supplementation to help meet their children’s daily needs.
3. Just drink water at dawn and iftar
Fulfill your fluid intake both at dawn and breaking your fast. Not only drinking water, milk, or juice, always try to serve a menu of foods with soups such as soup to increase your fluid intake.
Although fluid intake for the body is something important, avoid carbonated drinks at dawn or breaking the fast.
Also Read: 7 Ways to Deal with Fussy Children during Fasting, Parents Must Know
4. Avoid Spicy Foods
Avoid spicy foods at dawn or iftar because these foods can increase stomach acid levels. The bad effect, your child can get stomach ulcers (gastritis). Of course this will interfere with the health of children during fasting.
5. Avoid salty and flavorful foods
In addition to spicy foods and soft drinks, avoid foods that are too salty and contain seasonings because they can increase thirst. This condition will make the child feel uncomfortable during the day of fasting.
6. Limit Children’s Activities and Get Enough Sleep
During fasting, you should limit activities that require high activity because it will cause children to feel weak and easily thirsty. It’s best to do activities that don’t take up too much energy, such as reciting the Koran together, reading a book, or cooking for iftar.
In addition, eight hours of sleep per night and naps will help children to fast with enthusiasm until breaking the fast.
7. Start Sweet Foods at Iftar
When the time to break the fast arrives, start with sweet foods with the right portion so that the lack of glucose during fasting can be fulfilled.
You can give a date or hot sweet tea to the child. It is better to avoid fast food, fried foods, foods high in sugar, and processed flour.
Also Read: 10 Easy Ways to Train Children to Fast Ramadan from an Early Age
Proper Nutrition Intake for Children during Fasting
Proper nutrition at Suhoor and Iftar is something that is important so that children’s health is maintained during the month of Ramadan. The following is nutritional intake for children at dawn and iftar:
Food for sahur must contain all the nutrients in a balanced composition and in sufficient quantities according to the age of the child. Eat foods that have a low glycemic index, which is a type of food that can increase blood sugar levels in the body slowly but last a long time.
Examples of foods that have a low glycemic index include: brown rice, bulgur, spaghetti, grapes, bananas, oranges, sweet potatoes, green beans, apples and low-fat milk.
At dawn, it is better not to give children food that is just practical and filling because breakfast food is very important. The composition of the food consumed is more or less the same as the main meal when breaking the fast.
Eating more vegetables and fruits with high fiber content can help you feel full longer.
Foods for breaking the fast that you should give to children are foods that have a high glycemic index, which is a type of food that can increase blood sugar levels in the body quickly but briefly.
Some examples of foods with a high glycemic index include: bread, corn, potatoes, watermelon and carrots.
In addition, also teach children not to rush and not eat large portions of food at one time because it can cause disturbances in the digestive system.
Breaking the fast can be started by drinking a glass of warm water or warm plain tea so that the stomach is ready to receive food.
After that, 5 to 10 minutes give food with natural sweeteners in reasonable quantities, such as compote, bananas, or coconut water.
Sweet foods are highly recommended when starting iftar. This is because simple carbohydrates are more easily digested by the body to replace blood sugar reserves used during fasting.
- Anonymous. Health and Nutrition tips for your children during Ramadan. https://www.nestle-cereals.com/mena/me-en/health-tips-for-your-child-during-ramadan. (Accessed February 15, 2023)
- Anonymous. 7 Tips to Help Ease Your Child into Fasting During Ramadan. https://pennyappeal.org/news/help-your-child-fast-during-ramadan. (Accessed February 15, 2023)
- Pasi, Sparsh. Children and Fasting. https://www.mediclinic.ae/en/al-sufouh/health-blog/children-and-fasting.html. (Accessed February 15, 2023)
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