Ramadan nutrition tips for first time fasters (Part I)

Ramadan this year falls during the peak of a hot and humid summer – which is why it is important to consume a water rich diet of food and liquids to keep hydrated. In the first part of our blog series dedicated to fasting during Ramadan, the Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics team at Sidra share some tips for parents with adolescent children, who have reached puberty and will be fasting for the first time.

As a parent what you eat and consume during Ramadan will influence your children’s eating habits. Setting a good example now, will go a long way towards ensuring they maintain their health and nutrition in the future.

Start right:

With fasts averaging around fifteen hours this Ramadan, it is imperative that you get some food and water in before starting the fast.

  1. Make sure your children wake up and eat Suhoor. Many adults and children alike find it challenging to eat a meal so early in the morning, but the Suhoor meal has many blessings in it as narrated by the Prophet (PBUH).
  2. Along with drinking water, make sure to include a source of protein (e.g. eggs, yogurt, cheese) and complex carbohydrates (e.g. whole wheat bread, lentils, brown rice, oats) with the Suhoor meal.
  3. An example of a quick and easy to eat Suhoor is oatmeal or barley porridge with whole milk, sweetened with chopped dates and raisins.

Stay hydrated:

With about nine non-fasting hours per day this Ramadan this year – which includes time spent sleeping and praying – it can be a challenge to ensure adequate hydration.

  1. Keep a jug of water at the table with meals and encourage sipping water in between bites. This can also be a way to help prevent overeating.
  2. An intake of water rich fruits (e.g. watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, oranges, and grapes) after meals and as snacks in between meals will also help keep you hydrated.
  3. Drink plain water more often than other drinks, and limit coffee, black tea, and soft drinks to no more than one cup a day.

 

On behalf of Sidra, we would like to wish you a happy and blessed Ramadan.

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