The holy month of Ramadan is almost upon us. It’s a significant milestone in a Muslim child’s life: fasting through their first, full Ramadan. Abstaining from food and drink for 29 or 30 days especially as the days are getting longer can seem like a gargantuan task to a child choosing to begin fasting, especially since they will also have to continue attending school. As parents, you’ll want to avoid having a dehydrated, listless, disorientated and faint child on your hands, so here are some tips to introducing Ramadan to your youngins for the first time.
SLEEP: Sleep is extremely important especially since kids will be attending school during the day. Ensure they sleep early so the next day they wake up in time for the pre-dawn meal, Suhoor. You can tuck them in at night with stories on the holy month. After Suhoor let them take a nap as well.
FOOD: Make sure Suhoor contains healthy and high energy foods. Make fresh juices and other healthy drinks for children to help them avoid dehydration. Keep in mind that it’s important to add fruits and veggies into the mix. Plan and prepare menus for the week and talk about all the wonderful treats they would like to eat. Avoid junk and refined food during this time as those will just create cravings.
ACTIVITY: Limit activities that cost energy, such as intense exercises. They may make the kids weak and thirsty. for exercise try to play simple games or go on walks close to Iftar so that if they do feel thirsty or hungry after, there is not much time to wait to break the fast.
GIVING BACK: Ramadan is also the month of giving and thinking about those who are less unfortunate. Create a good deed box or calendar for the 30 days of Ramadan, which you add to every day. This gives your child a real understanding of giving and kindness. Involve the children in different practices during the day to make Ramadan more enjoyable and meaningful.
EARLY INTRODUCTION: Once your children are an appropriate age to understand the significance start off with mini fasts on the weekend building up over the years to full days of fasting. This really helps your child understand and know what to expect.
When the month comes to a close and the great celebration of Eid draws near, get the kids involved with all the preparations plus the etiquettes of Eid and fun activities. Most importantly, don’t forget the presents, these are so important for your children, as it creates motivation for the next year.
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