Many children fast during Ramadan .Even though they are not required to fast before the onset of puberty.
Fasting is not always easy for the little ones given that they are always active. Being active requires more energy and fluids, therefore they are not required to undergo full day fasting .
Dr Esam Haddad (Specialist Pediatrician) in our clinic, recommends to the parents not to force their children to fast fully, let them take part of the decision, because they are still in a period of growth and development and they still need many nutrients.
RECOMMENDATION FOR CHILDERN WHO CAN’T FAST
Parents should asses the child’s ability to fast based on their age, health activity, tolerance to hunger and frequency of eating.
There are some children who cannot fast:
- Children who look pale , underweight , having loss of appetite, and children with obesity.
- Children with fever ,vomiting or diarrhea.
- Children with any chronic disorders , metabolic or genetic disorder.
- Children who are diabetics with type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 ( insulin independent ).
RECOMMENDATION FOR CHILDREN WHO CAN FAST
As pediatrician, for healthy children more than 10 years of age . Dr Esam recommends starting fasting Ramadan half day or until noon and increase fasting further into the month.
These children should have:
- at least 10 years of age.
- normal body temperature.
- normal hemoglobin level.
- Eliminate bad consumption habits like sweet beverage carbonated drinks.
- Eliminate watching T.V, Cellphone, video games not more than 2hours per day.
- To break their fasting with dates and water, not with sweet beverage juice.
- Eating low glycemic food like grains, nuts and legumes … etc.
- Avoid skipping Suhour meals.
- Avoid high sugar foods since it will increase their craving and provide no nutrients.
- Salty food should be also limited to avoid thirst.
- To have five serves fruits and vegetable per day.
- To have1 hour exercise after iftar.’
We wish for all children to be hydrated and highly active during the fasting hours. For those children who cannot fast wish them happy Ramadan and enjoy your meal.