Child First Time Fasting? Here Are 10 Things To Look For & How To Teach Them
Children aged 5 years are usually taught to fast for the first time. Training children to fast is certainly not an easy thing, Mother.
It’s normal for children to complain when they fast for the first time. Therefore, Mothers need to provide understanding and reasons why they need to endure hunger and thirst within a certain time frame.
Not only that, there are a number of things that need to be considered when Mother and Father want to teach their Little One to fast for the first time.
Tips for teaching children to fast for the first time
There are at least 10 things that need to be considered when teaching children to fast for the first time. According to various sources, the following is the sequence:
1. Pay attention to the age of the child
Fasting is obligatory for every Muslim who has reached puberty, Mother. While children are not included in the mandatory requirements and demands of fasting.
According to the book Success in Training Children to Fast by Umm Qhania, even though they are not yet required to fast because they are not yet mature, children under five up to before 12 years of age can be trained to fast.
When training children to fast, parents should not generalize children’s readiness because every child has different abilities and willingness even though they are the same age.
2. Teach slowly
Children who have just fasted for the first time may feel heavy if they fast immediately. Therefore, it is best to start training your little one to fast for half a day.
According to the book Learning Patterns 9 Pillars of Character in Early Childhood by Endang Kartikowati, Mothers can teach children to fast until midday or asr. If the child is able, he can fast for a full day until he gets used to fasting.
3. Introduce fasting activities
Children easily imitate anything they see. Therefore, try to eat breakfast, break the fast, and do other services in front of them, Mother.
At preschool age, children also begin to understand cause and effect and make sense of the knowledge they get. Quoting from the book 1001 Powerful Ways to Train Children by Nofisah A, the best way to introduce fasting to children is to introduce an overview of activities about fasting emotionally.
4. Divert attention
When children start whining and asking to break their fast, you can try to distract them. Try giving the child a toy or something that might get his attention.
5. Instill a competitive spirit
Working with other family members who also have children of the same age and are learning to fast can also be a powerful tip. This can trigger a child’s competitive feeling in doing good.
Illustration of a child learning to fast/Photo: iStock
6. Monitor children’s food intake
Summarizing from the Gulf News page, Mothers are advised to carefully monitor their Little One’s intake during fasting. Make sure they get enough calorie and fluid intake.
7. Avoid strenuous exercise
Ask children to avoid high-intensity sports and require lots of drinking, Mother. This is so that children stay hydrated even though fasting.
8. Avoid foods high in sugar
Eating sahur is the most important part when children are learning to fast. Children should be given foods rich in fiber such as whole grain cereals, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Also add good protein intake such as lean meat, butter, eggs and milk.
Avoid foods that are high in sugar when teaching children to fast. This is because sugar can increase thirst.
9. Eat enough
One of the mistakes that mothers and fathers make when teaching children to fast for the first time is letting them eat their sahur and break their fast by eating excessively. Overeating can actually make children experience indigestion, bloating, and discomfort.
10. Give extra vitamins
According to the pediatrician, dr. Jeshika Febi Kusumawati, Sp.A, additional vitamins are not really needed when children are fasting. However, vitamins as a booster may still be given to increase the immune system.
“Vitamins as a booster can still be given to children to increase their immune system during fasting. For example, giving supplements of vitamin C or vitamin D. However, giving these supplements needs to be consulted with a doctor first, especially to find out the dosage and side effects,” Jeshika said. Hi Mom, not long ago.
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