Dieting And Fasting Tips For Kids - All You Need To Know

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Teaching kids about fasting and the cultural motives for a fast can be quite a challenge. Children and fasting don’t go hand in hand. And as a mom, you may wonder what the right time to teach your kids about fasting is and how you should go about it. Well, don’t worry! Momjunction is here to help you. Below, we talk about some important information on fasting for kids and what is the safe age to teach them about it.

Is It Safe For Kids To Fast?

Most physicians recommend that kids should not fast for long spans of time. And, let’s be truthful here. Imagining children fasting is tough enough. If you have to teach your kids about fasting, then puberty is the right age to do so. It is the safest way of fasting. However, fasting before puberty is safe, and depends on the kid’s general health and nutrition.

At What Age Should A Child Start Fasting?

Kids who are above seven or eight years can practice a partial fast, however fasting for kids under seven or eight is not recommendable. Kids above seven can fast for just a few hours at a time. However, they should strictly avoid fasting for long hours (1).

Benefits Of Fasting For Kids:

Fasting is not only beneficial from a spiritual perspective, but also beneficial for your kid’s health. Here are some benefits of fasting for kids:

  • Inculcate healthy eating habits
  • Promotes smooth digestion
  • Prevents the development of tooth decay

4 Helpful Tips For Teaching Kids About Fasting

Even though fasting refers to abstaining from all food, liquids, or solids, kids should only avoid eating for a few hours. Here are some helpful tips to teach your kids practical yet safe and appropriate fasting technique to fast for a short period.

1. Abstain From Sweets:

Kids love to munch on sweets now and then. So, you can teach kids to avoid eating just sweets for some span of time. Tell your kids not to eat sugar-rich foods and snacks, such as cakes, candies, chocolates, and pastries, for a specific period. Your kids will not only learn to fast but also avoid eating an excess of sweets and stay away from tooth decay (3).

2. Make Healthy Choices:

For a designated span of fasting time, teach your kids to eat only healthy foods. For instance, instead of chocolates and cookies, teach your kids to eat carrots. Instead of drinking soda and cold drinks, teach your kids to drink only filtered water. Help your kids to choose nutritional meals over fast and junk foods (4).

3. Introduce Fasting During Ramadan:

Ramadan is one of the best times to introduce the concept of fasting to kids. Islam does not require kids to fast but with the adults in the family fasting, they may get excited about the idea. Let your child take the lead here and decide if he wants to fast or not. Be flexible and let him fast for a day in the beginning. In any case, do not force it on them.

4. Choose A Few Hours Of Day To Fast:

Make sure you don’t teach your kids to fast for long hours or an entire day. Choose specific hours of a day for kids to fast. For instance, ask your kids to fast for a few hours in the afternoon and evening and then have a nutritious meal at night. Avoid skipping meals. Prevent your kids from munching snacks and junk foods now and then, but make sure they have balanced, nutritious meals.

5. Fast From Certain Foods:

If your kid is in a habit of eating certain (his favorite) foods a lot, then prevent your kids from eating that specific food item while fasting. For instance, if your child loves to eat chocolates or bread a lot then instruct your child to abstain from eating them during the fasting hours. While breaking the fast after designated time, teach your kid to pray God and thanks him for the food that your child is about to eat. Such habit will help your child learn that the worth of food.

[ Read: Best Nutritious Foods For Kids ]

Is Dieting Safe For Kids?

Are bullies at school targeting your child because of his obesity? Is being fat hurting your child’s self-esteem? Well, if your child is facing weight issues, reading this post is a good idea.

Shedding weight is the easiest way to become fab from flab! Dieting helps solve weight-management issues, but crash diets are a strict no-no. But the question is, is dieting ok for kids? Find out in this article five tips to help your child become more fit and confident! Read on to know more on kids dieting!.

Going on a diet implies an attempt to lose weight by limiting calories. Unlike adults, kids are constantly growing and developing. Hence, children should not go on fad diets. Diets that do not include a variety of nutritious foods can stunt the growth of your child. Low carb diets can affect concentration, learning and school performance in children. It can also lead to osteoporosis and menstrual problems in girls.

Paleo Diet For Kids

A Paleo diet is thought to have existed right from the times of the early man, and is also sometimes known as the cave diet. It is a diet that mostly relies on vegetables, meat and fish and excludes any form of milk, dairy, sugar or cereals. It also asks you to completely give up on any type of processed foods.

Is paleo Diet safe for kids?

Well, the debate on whether the Paleo diet is safe for kids and should kids be raised on it entirely is a raging topic. Most nutritionists and diet experts feel that exposing your kids to the Paleo diet will make them deficient in various nutrients. Those who are strong believers in the Paleo diet feel that it is fine for their kids to give up all that the diet asks them to avoid and still be healthy. [1]

Here are some arguments that Paleo followers have in favor of the diet for kids:

  • The Paleo diet does not include any artificial sugars and sweets. It is a good way to help your kid cut down on candies, chocolates, colas and fizzy drinks.
  • The Paleo diet is very high in protein and fiber which may or may not be a good thing for your kid.
  • The colorful fruits and vegetables provide lots of vitamins and minerals for growing kids.
  • The diet is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids as it is very important for brain development.

What to Eat on the Paleo Diet:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh lean meats and fish
  • Eggs
  • Olive oil and coconut oil
  • Nuts and seeds

What Not to Eat on the Paleo Diet:

  • Wheat or cereals
  • Milk or dairy products like cheese, butter
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Potatoes – although it is sometimes allowed as a cheat food in the initial stages
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Grains and legumes like beans and peanuts
  • No packaged foods including packaged or canned meats and fish

We hope you liked our post on fasting and dieting for kids. Do you have any views on fast and diet for small kids? Fellow moms would like to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.

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