>> Aug 19, 2011
Aww, it’s already second week of this fasting month. I’m rather late to post this article. Parents, of course, it is highly recommended to train children to fast. Indeed, there is no reference at what age a child can fast because the body condition of each child is different.
How to determine the ability of fasting in children? Actually it's easy; a child who’s feeling weak will surely complain hungry. Don’t wait until it brings cold sweat, moreover throwing up. It could be one sign of decreased blood sugar levels or the dehydration because children generally stay play actively and spend a lot of sweat.
Immediately break his fast. Don’t forget to praise his efforts. However, don’t let your child ‘take revenge’ against his hunger by eating large meals at once. It will only make his digestive system reacts in shock and provoke.
Give the opening drink that can recover energy, along with snacks. After that, he can eat a main meal with not excessive portion.
Instead of saying, "Fasting means not eating all day," better to say, "Fasting is simply speed up breakfast and delay lunch." Thus, your child won’t feel heavy to do it. Furthermore, train your child’s power by fasting gradually.
At the beginning of the exercise, toddlers who eat breakfast at around 7:00, they can try fasting until 09:00 or 10:00. After eating, the fasting can continue again until noon and then open for the second time (at 15:00, for example), then carry on until dusk. In following years, fasting can be done until around 12:00 am, and so on according to your child's ability.
For school-age children who are relatively more powerful, notice their biological clock. Usually until around 12:00, children can still survive, but after the middle of the day, let’s say at 14:00, his stomach starts growling. If he’s not strong, offer the child to break the fast. If he still looks fresh, ask him to do enjoyable things to ignore hunger and thirst like reading stories, watching favorite movies, and more.
There should also be understood, at the beginning of fasting (the first 1-3 days) is the times for adjusting body to the "empty" stomach. Don’t worry if your child reduce their activity and take more sleep for feeling lacking energy. Anticipate with inviting him doing activities that don’t drain energy but is able to make he feels fun.
If your child has to school in the morning, take him to bed early at night so that he stays fit although he must get up very early for meal. During the day, remind your child to sleep with common portions only, as too much sleep can actually make it increasingly weak.
After the sahur meal, don’t let your child move excessively (morning walk in long distances or strenuous exercise) because he would quickly run out of energy and ultimately weak and thirsty. Better, take it back to sleep, or fill it with activities that don’t spend too much energy. Active play can be done before sunset and generally not more than one hour.
May God have mercy on us all by the virtuous children and following generations.