The Star/Asia News Network
Muslim children are encouraged to fast from small, from as young as seven years old. (Shutterstock/File)
Are your children starting to fast this Ramadan?
Most young Muslim children 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 the five obligations that every Muslim must fulfill.
Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for a month. Muslim children are encouraged to fast from small, from as young as seven years old.
Tuanku Mizan Armed Forces Hospital’s dietitian Major Razni Shauna Abdul Razak shares some tips for fasting children this Ramadan:
Drink sufficient fluids daily to maintain hydration, especially water.
Water keeps your child’s body hydrated from dawn to dusk. Limit drinks that contain sugar and diuretic drinks such as coffee, soda, and black tea.
Dates, cakes and breads are an excellent source of energy.
Keep junk food and fried food far from reach
Avoid salty foods such as processed foods and junk food like kerepek, and keropok. It can increase thirst. Fried food can lead to tiredness and unhealthy weight gain.
Eat complex carbohydrates and proteins
Complex carbohydrates help release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting. Proteins help fill up your child during the fast. Ideally, your typical sahur meal should include eggs, cheese, whole grain bread and fresh vegetables.
Avoid sugary food
Sugar can upset the body’s natural blood sugar levels. This can lead to mood swings and unnecessary cravings. Instead of carbonated drinks, eat dates or drink fruit juices to replenish the body’s reserves after a long fast.
Goodness of yogurt and fiber
Encourage children to eat fibrous food. Low-fat dairy products like yogurt, and cheeses, can be included in the diet. It helps aid digestion.