Tips for fulfilling children’s nutritional needs during fasting – The holy month of Ramadan is the most awaited month. In this month all Muslims will fast. Even parents start teaching fasting to their children from an early age. Of course it is a challenge for parents in teaching their children to fast. Teaching children to fast from an early age provide many benefits for growth and development.
In addition to teaching fasting to children, don’t forget to meet children’s nutritional needs as usual. If the child’s nutritional needs are met, the child will remain active and enthusiastic about carrying out activities even though they are fasting. Here are steps you can take to meet your little one’s nutritional needs while fasting.
Tips for fulfilling children’s nutritional needs during fasting
You have to do the nutrition of children in the fasting month as usual. Fulfill your little one’s nutritional needs with the following tips.
Serve Foods with Balanced Nutrients
It is very important to provide food with a balanced nutritional content for the baby. A balanced nutritious diet is one of the important things to support your little one staying healthy and active when fasting. Even though your little one rarely eats as usual, it is not a problem as long as you can provide foods that are rich in nutrients. You can meet your little one’s daily nutritional needs by serving foods with the following ingredients.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. In order for children to have energy even though they are fasting, you must provide food with the best source of carbohydrates for your little one so that their daily nutritional needs can be met.
You can choose foods with complex carbohydrate content. Because this food will be digested longer so that it will keep energy stable throughout the day. Some food sources of carbohydrates that you can provide to children, especially during the meal, include whole wheat bread, brown rice, potatoes and whole grain cereals.
Apart from carbohydrates, protein must also be fulfilled for children. Protein helps in building muscle, strengthening bones and skin, producing hormones and carrying nutrients throughout the body. Some healthy foods that contain protein include fish, lean meat, eggs, dairy products and nuts.
Vitamins and Minerals
These nutrients must not be left behind which play a role in helping the body to carry out its functions optimally. You can meet mineral and vitamin needs for your little one from various food sources such as fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Fat is one of the important nutrients for the body. Apart from carbohydrates, fat is another source of energy that is stored as a reserve in the body. You must choose unsaturated and healthy fats for your little one which can be obtained from avocado, olive oil, fish and nuts. In addition to fulfilling children’s nutrition, consuming healthy fats will also help maintain their weight.
Give a Healthy Menu during Suhoor and Iftar
So that the nutritional needs of children during fasting are still fulfilled, you must pay attention to the sahur menu and iftar for your little one. Serve your little one’s favorite healthy food. You must stick to the essential nutrients needed when serving food for your baby.
In order for your little one’s appetite to increase, you can make your little one’s favorite food. Especially at dawn, usually the appetite decreases due to drowsiness and so on.
You can also involve your little one in the process of making meals, from shopping, cooking to serving menus for breaking the fast. That way the child will be more enthusiastic about eating.
Some children are usually reluctant to eat the healthy food that the mother has provided. To solve this problem, you can be creative in presenting the food menu. For example, cutting vegetables in various shapes and colors so that your appetite can increase.
In addition to serving interesting food and your little one’s favorite, it is important to create a pleasant dining atmosphere. So that your little one will be more eager to eat the food that you have provided. If the atmosphere when eating with family is fun, it will make children interested in eating.
Healthy Snacks At Night
After finishing the evening prayer, your little one may eat healthy snacks such as pudding, bananas, yogurt, fruit cookies or drink milk.
Drink milk during suhoor and iftar
One good source of protein in meeting children’s nutritional needs during the fasting month is cow’s milk. Milk will provide energy so that your little one is strong in fasting. In addition, milk also contains other nutrients to support the growth and development of your little one.
You can choose dairy products with essential nutrients your children need, such as calcium, iron and zinc because they have good benefits, such as:
- Calcium. Calcium will help maintain the density of your child’s teeth and bones
- Iron. Iron can prevent, and help treat anemia caused by iron deficiency.
- Zinc. With this content, your little one’s immune system will be maintained so that he will remain active even though he is fasting.
You can give milk to children at dawn and breaking the fast or before your little one goes to sleep.
Don’t Miss the Sahur
Don’t let your children miss their sahur time. During Suhoor, children will eat a variety of foods needed for a day’s lunch. Children who eat sahur will usually be more active even though they are fasting. In addition, when studying, children will remain concentrated.
If a child misses the dawn of time, he will become easily tired, irritable and restless. As a parent, of course, you have to provide a healthy meal that can meet the nutritional needs of your little one. You can choose foods that are rich in fiber, whole grains and protein.
Signs of Deficiency in Nutrients or Fluids
Some children who are learning fasting for the first time will usually look weak. However, you must be vigilant if your little one is constantly weak. Because this condition could indicate that the child is deficient in nutrients or fluids.
This condition can occur especially if the child eats and drinks a little, but he is actively moving. It is very important to know the signs or symptoms that appear when the child is dehy
drated or nutritious, such as the following:
- The child’s eyes look sunken
- Dry mouth
- Easy to get angry
- The skin becomes dry and cold
- Difficulty concentrating
Therefore, it is very important to meet the nutritional needs of children to prevent various health problems that they may experience.
Those are tips to fulfill children’s nutritional needs during fasting that you can do. In addition, make sure your little one’s fluid needs are fulfilled, especially if he does many activities during the day, such as school, play and other activities. With adequate fluid intake at dawn and breaking the fast, it will be able to prevent children from experiencing dehydration.