A fasting individual requires good, nutrient-rich food that provides the energy necessary to sustain life on a day to day basis. In this sacred month, we must try our best to work hard towards improving ourselves spiritually. We should focus on our prayers, and spreading joy and making the most out of it by fasting and worrying less on what to prepare for iftar!
This week’s article is dedicated to children fasting for the first time. The article aims to guide mothers in preparing healthy meals and, cutting down hours spent in the kitchen.
Ramadan brings a great opportunity for families to get together; be it iftar, sehri, or taraweeh prayers. The month brings extra joy and excitement, especially for children, who are, at times, too eager to participate with the family, often at the expense of their own well-being. But fasting can sometimes cause fatigue and dehydration. However, with a well-planned diet and some dietary changes, things can go smooth.
The pre-dawn meal should be a wholesome, moderate meal, that is filling and provides enough energy for many hours. Fibre rich foods like oats, whole wheat roti, and eggs are excellent choices, along with some banana, and milk.
Start by drinking a glass of water, followed by two dates; this will help stabilise the low blood sugar levels fast.
Present a bowl of homemade soup of their choice in front of them, an indispensable dish in the Ramadan meal, as it prepares the stomach to receive the rest of the meal and helps replenish some of the fluids lost during the day.
A fruit salad or fruit custard is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre. The more colourful your salad, the more health benefits it holds.
The main dish should contain 40-50 percent protein, like chicken, fish, or plant based protein like beans, chickpeas etc. and the rest as complex carbs, be it from vegetable or whole-wheat pasta.
Make sure your children drink sufficient water (strictly no soda), lots of homemade soups, healthy juices or yoghurt before they start eating the main meal.
This will prevent dehydration and provide the body with essential fluids.
CAJUN CHICKEN BRUSCHETTA
1 whole baguette, sliced diagonally (hot dog buns work too)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
250g boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into ½-inch cubes
1 tbsp paprika powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp chopped garlic
½ capsicum, sliced
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
1 slice lemon juice
1 tbsp mustard sauce
1 tbsp BBQ sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a pan, put 1 teaspoon of butter; place the baguette slices and dry toast, Toast the baguette slices for a few minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
In another pan, on medium-high heat, add the olive oil, chopped onion, chopped garlic, and the chicken breasts. Cook the chicken until it is no longer pink, or about five minutes, then add the paprika powder, oregano, parsley, mustard and BBQ sauce and a little water.
Cover with lid for 2 minutes, then add the sliced mushrooms and capsicum, salt and black pepper and cook for additional 5 minutes.
Remove skillet from the heat and place the chicken mix on the bread. You can also add some fresh parsley or shredded mozzarella on top.
STRAWBERRY CHOCO YOGHURT MOUSSE
200g canned/frozen strawberries
10ml lemon juice
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 strawberry jelly, 1 cup plain yoghurt
2 tbsp chocolate sauce
Fresh strawberries and choco chips/Chocolate wafer for decorating
In a pot, take the strawberries, add 1 cup water, sugar and stir until soft and squashed. Add the lemon juice and stir. Add the gelatine and stir until dissolved and runny.
In a separate bowl, add the yoghurt, chocolate sauce and mix, add the cooled jelly strawberry mix and stir until everything is mixed together. Arrange it in a custard glass with the mixture. Keep in the refrigerator to cool, serve cold with fresh strawberries and chocolate chips, and wafers on top.