Children observing Ramadan fasting should follow certain guidelines:  experts   

Thursday, 04 April 2024 | PNS | DEHRADUN

As Ramadan fasting signifies spiritual enlightenment and nearness to God, the Muslim community people observe the rituals strictly. Even the children from the community are not immune to the appeal of fasting.   With the trend of children observing dawn to dusk waterless fasting gaining momentum,   the health experts said that these children need to follow certain guidelines related to their diets during fasting to stay healthy. They stressed on increased fluid intake, saying that this would help prevent dehydration and maintain good health.

Commenting on this matter, dietician at Government Doon Medical College (GDMC) hospital Richa Kukreti said that the parents of the children observing dawn to dusk Ramadan fasting should pay particular attention to their children’s dietary needs during this time. “As for the pre-dawn meal known as Sehri consumed before the rigorous fasting begins, children should opt for a light diet. They should consume less oily and spicy dishes such as chicken, vegetable soup and a lightly oiled paratha. These children need to be mindful of not overhydrating themselves during Sehri as excessive water intake may lead to indigestion that may persist all through the day,” she said.

She further said that as the fasting ends with Iftar, it is essential to reintroduce hydration to the body gradually by starting with light foods. “Children can enjoy a milkshake blended with soaked dry fruits as well as a fruit salad comprising pomegranate, papaya and watermelon to help maintain the body’s balance,” she said.

While speaking of the same matter, a paediatrician at Government Doon Medical College (GDMC) Dr Rajan Mohan said that the parents should be all the more attentive to their children’s diet during Ramadan because it coincides with the onset of summer with rising mercury. “Increasing fluid intake such as coconut water can help prevent dehydration. Additionally, consuming a diet rich in fibre at Sehri, including carrots, green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits, will provide a required level of energy during fasting,” he said.

He further underscored the importance of children consuming glucose to boost immunity at Iftar. “One thing the parents should be cautious about is that immediately after the fasting period ends, the children should not be allowed to have heavy meals. Consumption of heavy meals around that time may strain the pancreas and potentially lead to diabetes. If the fasting children adhere to these guidelines, they will stay hydrated and healthy throughout the Ramadan period,” he added. 

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