Many children want to fast Ramadan as a tradition for their family members, but is it safe for them to fast? What is the age at which children can be allowed to fast? What are the things that parents should take into account in order for their children to fast safely?
A child needs a large percentage of fluids and a large source of energy to keep his body healthy, especially for brain development. If a child loses the calories he needs during the day, even after a few hours, glucose (blood sugar), the brain's main source of energy, decreases. This lack of energy can lead to a host of changes such as:
Fatigue and tiredness
Decreased cognitive function
What is the safe age for a child to fast?
Children's fasting depends on a group of factors, which mainly focus on the age of the child, and his psychological and health condition. However, in general, it is forbidden for young people under 10 years of age to fast, and then for children who suffer from a disease with which fasting may harm their health, growth, weight, and height.
How do I get my child back to fasting?
Mothers are looking for the best ways to get their children accustomed to Ramadan fasting. For this reason, some of the following instructions must be applied in the case of children fasting. It is important that fasting be done gradually through:
Determine the number of fasting hours; Like fasting from dawn to noon
Not eating food but continuing to drink water
Fasting specific days in Ramadan, such as fasting the first and last days and the 15th day of Ramadan.
How to make your child's fasting safe in Ramadan:
Parents should pay attention to feeding the fasting child in terms of arranging meals and diversifying useful foods that meet all his needs. Basically, the following recommendations related to breakfast and suhoor meals should be taken into account during children’s fasting in Ramadan:
As for the best way to eat breakfast for a fasting child, it is through the gradual provision of dishes to him, as juices and dates are started first, and the child should not be left eating the meal at once so that he does not suffer from intestinal disorders, provided that the mother takes into account the diversity in the way of cooking meals so that he does not feel The child is bored. Children, especially those under the age of puberty, can also exercise, but the child's activity must be controlled during fasting hours, and he must be kept away from violent physical activities so as not to increase his sense of thirst and hunger, and to avoid the occurrence of dehydration or lack of sugar .
Tips for children at breakfast
- Don't be late for breakfast.
- Provide a balanced breakfast containing carbohydrates, proteins and harmless fats to provide the child with all his nutritional needs.
- Eat foods that contain minerals and vitamins such as calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium, and start giving the child two dates or a glass of natural juice for breakfast.
- Take care to take the calories needed by the child's body to avoid energy shortages.
- Drink water and focus on soups to replace lost fluids during the fasting hours.
- Avoid salty foods, spices and salty foods that may increase thirst.
- Replace sweets rich in fats and sugars with fruits or rice with milk, which are rich in vitamins and minerals necessary for the growth of the child.
- Avoid pans and fatty foods, which may be heavy on the stomach and cause indigestion.
Tips for children at Suhoor meal
When preparing the Suhoor meal, it is important to take into account the following matters related to children’s fasting in Ramadan:
- It is preferable to delay the pre-dawn meal as much as possible, until before the dawn call to prayer, so that the child's fasting hours do not extend, which may cause him stress.
- It must contain fiber that helps keep you full for longer periods
- It must contain all food groups, especially milk and its derivatives, to give the child his basic needs of calcium.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks, as they cause water loss from the body.
- It is preferable to stay away from eating pans and fatty foods.
- It is preferable to refrain from citrus fruits and pickles.
- You must drink sufficient amounts of water to avoid dehydration and constipation .
After we got acquainted with the best safe ways for children to fast during the holy month of Ramadan, we must take care of children’s health and follow up on their nutrition in healthy and enjoyable ways to protect them from any nutritional damage during the fasting period or exposure to dehydration as a result of losing quantities of fluids, so they are the seeds of the future and illumination for future generations.
May Allah accept your fasting, night prayers and good deeds
Consumer Awareness Department.