Reaching the end of Ramadan

    

ENDOFRAMADAN

The last 10 days of Ramadan hold a special significance. Within one of these days, on an odd-numbered night, is Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power). In the Quran it is described as “better than a thousand months” (97:3-4). It marks the day when the Quran was sent down to Prophet Muhammad to guide mankind. Many are diligent in performing extra prayers and dhikr then, hoping that Allah bestows mercy upon them and answers their prayers. It is stated that a person’s previous sins are forgiven if he or she dedicates him or herself to prayer and faith during this night. Any dhikr or ibaadah done on this night is better than performing it for a thousand months (that’s 83 years and 4 months!).

       There then lies a troubling question for many– mainly those who cannot pray, fast, or devote their nights to ibaadah (those who are menstruating, are breastfeeding, or have chronic illnesses for example). For the former, not being able to pray or read the Quran may leave women feeling disconnected from Islam, while the others may feel that they are not able to do enough during this blessed month. However, there are still ways to practice worshipping that may be suitable for these scenarios. Especially for those with medical reasoning, it is important not to over-extend oneself, and rather practice quality ibaadah instead.

       Here are some suggestions to maximize the last 10 days of Ramadan, for those who cannot traditionally pray or fast:

  1. Make dua: Prepare for Laylatul Qadr by writing a list of your duas, no matter how miniscule of a desire. Make dua off this list every night for the last ten days, and reflect on how to achieve these wishes as well. Practice making sincere duas before Maghrib or during the last third of the night for those who are able. You can make dua for individual matters, and even on a larger scale/for the ummah as a whole.
  2. Listen or read the Quran: Women who are menstruating and are exempt from praying cannot touch the Quran itself. However, they can listen to the Quran.
  3. Tread your path in search of knowledge: Download podcasts of lectures by scholars such as Mufti Kamani, Hamza Yusuf, or Noman Ali Khan to listen on-the-go, or watch the plethora of Youtube videos available. Read Tafseers, or explanations of Surahs given context, to truly understand the message of the Quran and get the most out of this month.
  4. Do dhikr: Practice remembrance of Allah. It is said in Surah Baqarah that if we remember Him, He will remember us. Saying subhanAllah, alhamdullilah, and astagfirullah, allahuakbar, and other forms of dhikr will remind us consistently of Allah’s presence in our lives.
  5. Give back and help those in need: Do good deeds by preparing iftar for the family or cleaning up after those who are fasting. Volunteer for those less fortunate or give charity. Remind yourself of how well-off you may be compared to other counterparts, and count your blessings for what Allah has provided you.

   It may seem like you cannot do as much as you would like this Ramadan, but there are still ways to maintain your spiritual connection and make the most of this month. Practicing these tips, whether you are not able to fast, not able to pray, or feel disconnected, will allow you to make the most out of the last few days of Ramadan.

Advertisements

Adopting Healthy Food Habits

food-pot-kitchen-cooking

Considering our fasts this Ramadan, it is inevitable to consume an overall lesser amount of food. Many of us are then left with extra food in our fridge with little time to finish them in entirety. This leaves a harrowing question over the possibility of food borne illnesses, and how to handle food properly during this month. Join the National Safety Council in observing their National Safety Month this June. It is important to raise awareness on how to stay safe within your home, work, or community environments, leaving this topic relevant considering our holy month as well.

Here are some facts and tips about safe food handling to keep into consideration:

  1. Bacteria CAN survive and grow in cool, moist environments. Refrigerators are susceptible to Salmonella and Listeria (the latter of which can survive even below 40F). Avoiding cross-contamination of fruits and vegetables from raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs is key. Also ensure to clean up any spills immediately, with regular cleansing of your refrigerator with anti-bacterial soap and water.
  2. Ensure to put all food from both suhoor and iftar back into the refrigerator! Many may forget to put some foods away out of sleepiness post-suhoor, or leave food out for too long after iftar. Follow the 2-hour rule: refrigerate or freeze foods and leftovers within 2 hours, or 1 hour if the temperature is higher than 90F. Refrigerators only slow bacterial growth, but doesn’t stop it. Freezing it will allow perishables a few more days of use.
  3. Leftovers may look and smell fine, but that does not mean that they are safe to eat! Many bacteria that cause illnesses do not affect immediate physical appearance, smell, or taste, so ensure to either freeze or throw away leftovers after 3-4 days.
  4. For all those who are deep-frying this Ramadan: every time you reuse your oil, it becomes a more destabilized. Eventually it decomposes, giving a thick, viscous feel, and dark appearance. Once the oil looks cloudy or presents a little foam, it is best to throw it away. You will also know when the oil has gone bad by its distinct scent of rancidity. Using rancid oil may not normally make you sick, but it can increase your risk of developing cancers and liver damage. Vegetable oils are originally unstable as well, so opt for healthier fats such as butter, ghee, or coconut oil instead. 

Asides from ensuring to eat healthy this Ramadan, make sure to adopt healthy habits as well! Though many are encumbered by their normal working lives and time devoted to worshipping, it is important to take food safety into consideration.

Father’s Day

pexels-fathersday

It is always important to be kind to and respect our parents. As reference in the Quran, part of our obedience to Allah is to be dutiful to them. Parents should ensure that their children are provided for and given proper guidance.

With Father’s Day passing recently and Ramadan coming to a close, let us take some time to celebrate our fathers or parental figures. Fathers in particular serve as role models for children, carrying responsibility and leadership over the family. They should provide religious and moral education. Many recognize the importance of their mothers on this day, who took the traditional roles of both father and mother as well.

Raising children with proper values and beliefs is no easy task. Those fathers who follow proper teachings of the Quran will nurture and care for their children. It is important for us to recognize the efforts our parents put into us, and give back to them as well to maintain healthy family relationships. Positive interactions and respect can provide proper environments for individual development and overall better mental health.

That being said, here are some nice ways to show gratitude to your father:

  1. Make dua for him and pray nafl prayer on his behalf. Allah (swt) may accept sincere dua within the last ten days of Ramadan (or even Laylatul Qadr, the night of blessings, itself!)
  2. Purchase some new clothing for him to wear on Eid. It is Sunnah to wear one’s best clothing on Eid.
  3.  End the holy month by expressing your gratitude towards him. He will be touched by your thoughtfulness, and happy to be appreciated. Sustaining good family relations will promote healthy lifestyles and mental contentedness.

Father’s day is a day to universally celebrate their role in our lives. Let us all take advantage of the fact that the day lies in Ramadan, and ensure to keep our fathers in our prayers accordingly.  

Eating healthy during suhoor

food-breakfast-egg-milk

Eating healthy during suhoor does not always need to be simple and repetitive! Sara Ali, blogger of the Dietetic Aesthetic and student of Nutrition and Dietetics, suggests some exciting, healthy dishes to start your suhoor right and keep you satiated throughout the day.

1. Breakfast Oats with Raspberries, Banana, and Almond Butter

Spruce up your basic oatmeal with fruits and almond butter! The fruits will not only provide antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, but will also add a little bit of sweetness to your meal. The almond butter provides vitamin, mineral, heart-healthy fats sans any refined sugars. Ali’s secret ingredient is maca powder. Maca powder is derived from a root crop and holds great nutritional value. It contains vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and antioxidants. It is also great for increasing both physical and mental energy, making it a great addition to meals in Ramadan (used within moderation). 

2. Skillet Eggs with Spinach Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Thes skillet eggs are filling and quick to make for suhoor. You can choose different combinations and toppings, but spinach, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes are excellent choices as well. Feta cheese is great for someone with gluten-sensitivity. Spinach is a great source of vitamins and minerals to promote mental agility versus fatigue. Opting for another egg dish with feta: Shakshuka, may provide additional water-content to the meal from a prepared tomato sauce rather than sun-dried tomatoes.

3. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are not only extremely nutritious, but are also high in fiber. They are very filling and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Eating such a food for suhoor can keep you feeling full for much fo the day. The additional vegetables can help keep you hydrated. 

Eating healthy can be fun and colorful! Try out these dishes for a change from the usual routine. 

“Mindfulness” in Ramadan – Benefits for the Body & Soul

A common scene  during iftar gatherings:  Lots of chatter, noisy distractions, we’re trying to keep track of our kids… someone calls out that it’s time to break fast, and another yells, No! One more minute!  We pop a date in our mouth and down a mango lassi in one gulp.  And while we finish our meal with much appreciation, are we really being mindful, not only of what we are eating, but also of being in that moment – the moment that concludes a day of fasting meant to enhance one’s awareness?

Mindfulness – the practice of being present in the moment, aware and focused – has gained increasing popularity in recent years as clinicians have noted the significant benefits to physical and psychological health.  Mindfulness involves training the mind and body through a variety of practices, including meditation, awareness of physical senses and thoughts, along with breathing exercises, among other techniques.  The effects of incorporating this practice into daily life have been shown to include improvement in chronic pain, reduction in anxiety & depression, prevention of eating disorders in children and reduction in the risk of diabetes & obesity.  A study in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine examined the effects of mindfulness-enhanced diet and exercise on adults with obesity, and found a significant reduction in consumption of sugary foods and fasting glucose levels during a 12 month period (J Behav Med, Nov. 2015).  Why? Mindful awareness reduced individuals’ preference for sweets and also their tendency to overeat.

Fasting, likewise, has been shown to enhance one’s cognitive awareness and sharpens a mind-body connection that often lies more dormant.  A fasting person is acutely aware of his body’s sense of thirst, hunger, fatigue, etc., and likewise, acutely aware of the stimulation of taste & quenching of thirst when breaking his fast.  Herein lies a perfect opportunity to practice an easy first step towards a state of mindfulness, through a practice called ‘mindful eating’.

How does it work?

Here is a sample exercise of mindfully eating a simple date, to get started:

  1. Place a date in your hand (or any small piece of food)
  2. Sight.  Look at the date.  Take the date in the palm of your hand and observe its appearance as if you are looking at it for the first time… its color, texture, the shades and shape of the fruit…
  3. Touch.  Feel it. Take note of the wrinkled edges as you pass it through your fingers; does it feel firm or soft?
  4. Smell.  What scent does it have, if any?
  5. Taste.  Before you taste the date, notice the response of your body from the above mindful actions – your salivary glands kicking in.  Then place the date in your mouth and note the texture as you chew, the release of flavor, the dryness of your mouth dissipating.  Do not swallow right away!  Give yourself a few moments to notice these sensations.  Swallow, and follow the feeling of food passing to your stomach and your body’s energy level gradually rising.

Take a step back and think how your experience eating a simple date this way may be different than usual, by slowing down and being present in the moment.  You may find that you have a greater sense and appreciation for the taste of the fruit itself.  Repetition of even such a simple practice can help to improve your mind’s level of awareness, so that even in the most distracting of environments, you can stay present in the moment.

Interestingly, our faith teaches us to inculcate this very practice in many ways we may take for granted.  For example,  the preference of drinking a glass of water slowly, in three sips, and of eating attentively rather than while leaning back, are simple teachings in  hadith.  And of course there is the practice of zikr, or meditation/ remembrance.  All facilitate being present and aware of our mind and body.  Mindfulness can bring a greater sense of fulfillment, appreciation and gratitude in all aspects of life.  And it can start with just one date.

 

 

Everything you need to know about Sugars this Ramadan

sugars_ccn

 

Ramadan is a month of spiritual reflection and overall awareness/gratitude. With sawm (fasting) as a pillar of Islam, many practice it because it is obligatory. People do not generally think of the effect fasting has on the body or immediate reasons why they feel the way they do.

Intermittent fasting directly affects blood glucose levels. Generally, our bodies are dependent on the food we consume for glucose. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in the body. Here are examples of some carbohydrates to consume and avoid:

CCN_CarbohydratesSugar-01

Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, then absorbs the glucose into either fat, muscle, or liver to be further metabolized and provide energy. The amount of insulin increases when you eat to help metabolize the blood glucose, and decreases when you do not have glucose/carbohydrates in your system.

This is why people feel fatigued while they are fasting– their bodies are not processing enough food to provide that boost of energy throughout the day. When people are not eating consistently and there is not enough glucose in their blood stream, their bodies become dependent on supplementary stores of glucose, broken down by the hormone glucagon. Still, the amount of glucose provided by this method is not enough for the general energy levels we are used to, leading to fatigue. That is why complex carbohydrates and fruits are suggested during suhoor, since they are digested slower and provide energy throughout the day.

Generally when consuming food, we produce the necessary insulin as well. Sleeping at night puts bodies in a fasting state. The average body then resorts to glucagon, breaking down stores of glucose as mentioned earlier, since you are not consuming any additional glucose. However, those with Type 2 diabetes have different experiences. Since they have “insulin-resistance” their bodies do not recognize insulin well and are not effective in absorbing glucose as they should. They do not have the ability to rely on the broken down stores from glucagon, as their current insulin would not be able to absorb the glucose. This is why blood sugar levels in those with Diabetes are very high in the morning. Those with Type 2 Diabetes are then usually prescribed insulin to take before bed to counteract it, along with other oral medications. Intermittent fasting can be healthy to regulate blood sugar levels, as avoiding consumption of carbohydrates would reduce the amount of glucose added to the body. However, since the body is not able to make up the glucose by breaking down and absorbing existing stores, blood glucose for those with Type 2 diabetes can lower to dangerous levels. This could then lead to hypoglycemic shock and other dangerous adverse effects. Generally it is recommended that those with Type 2 diabetes discuss fasting with their doctor, and Islamically it is permissible to skip fasts for health concerns. Nonetheless, there are some who have learned how to balance their diabetes medications while still being able to fast healthily.

A mid-day feeling of fatigue is all-too-common throughout this month. Many often find themselves unproductive, or easily counting down the minutes towards their afternoon nap. Knowing the reasoning behind how your body acts is the first step in learning how to treat it properly and give the body what it needs for an energy-efficient, healthy fast.

Coffee Conundrum

love-beans-caffeine-coffee

 

The culture of today is to be constantly on-the-go. Many are inundated with multiple jobs and family obligations, and end up relying on coffee for a final boost of energy. Thus, a physical or psychological dependence is formed for the caffeinated beverage.

Come Ramadan, switching up the normal coffee routine proves to be difficult. People are left excessively fatigued and tired without their usual coffee intake. Though it may be too late to wean yourself off coffee for Ramadan, here are some tips to make the day go by a bit easier:

  1. Practice some light exercising (jogging or a long walk) to increase blood flow and provide energy throughout the day. Try not to over extend yourself due to your fast.
  2. Eat complex carbs, such as oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables (high in fiber). Your body will digest them slowly, allowing more energy throughout the day.
  3. Drink more water. Coffee can, in fact, leave you dehydrated. Keeping hydrated will keep you less fatigued. Try not to break your fast with a cup of coffee for this reason as well. Also avoid salty, hot, and spicy dishes since they promote thirst and dehydration. Divide your weight in pounds by 2 to know how many ounces of water you should drink every day after iftar to keep alert and active.
  4. If needed, drink coffee during suhoor to sustain your energy throughout the day.

Should I fast this Ramadan?

pexels-photo-87322 copy

As Ramadan currently falls in the summer and spring months, and will do for the next few years, there are many Muslims in our community who wonder whether they should fast or not. To help our Community Members make more informed decisions, we have put together a list of FAQs for you.

Should you fast if you have diabetes?

People with type 1 diabetes shouldn’t usually fast, but people with type 2 diabetes on insulin should be able to. Their GP may advise adjusting the dose of their insulin, or their insulin type may need to be changed.

I get severe migraines when I don’t eat and they get worse when I fast. Should I fast?

People with uncontrolled migraines should not fast. But managing your migraines is possible with the right medicine and certain lifestyle changes. Ask your GP for further advice on controlling your migraines.

Should you fast if you have high or low blood pressure?

People with well-controlled high blood pressure can fast. Your GP may advise you to change your medicine to help you take tablets outside fasting times. Someone with low blood pressure who is otherwise healthy may fast. They must ensure they drink enough fluid and have enough salt.

Can you fast if you’re getting a blood transfusion in hospital?

No. Someone receiving a blood transfusion is advised not to fast on medical grounds. They may fast on the days when no transfusions are required.

I am on regular medication. Can I still fast?

Speak to your GP for advice on specific medicines.

Can you take tablets, have injections or use patches while fasting?

Taking tablets breaks the fast. But injections, patches, eardrops, and eyedrops don’t break the fast as they’re not considered to be food and drink – though there are differences of opinion among Muslim scholars on these issues. Islamic law says sick people shouldn’t fast.

Is fasting harmful when a woman is expecting a baby? Must pregnant women fast?

There’s medical evidence to show that fasting in pregnancy isn’t a good idea. If a pregnant woman feels strong and healthy enough to fast, especially during the early part of the pregnancy, she may do so.

If she doesn’t feel well enough to fast, Islamic law gives her clear permission not to, and to make up the missed fasts later. If she’s unable to do this, she must perform fidyah, a method of compensation for a missed act of worship, such as paying for someone to be fed.

Does a breastfeeding woman have to fast?

No. Islamic law says a breastfeeding mother doesn’t have to fast. Missed fasts must be compensated for by fasting at a later date, or fidyah, once breastfeeding has stopped.

Is Ramadan a good time to quit smoking?

Yes. Smoking is bad for your health and Ramadan is a great opportunity to change unhealthy habits, including smoking. To find your local service, visit the Smokefree website or ask your doctor or nurse to refer you to your local service.

You can also call the NHS Smokefree Helpline number on 0300 123 1044 (0300 123 1014 minicom) and ask to speak to an interpreter for the language you need. The helpline is open from 9am-8pm Monday to Friday, and from 11am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Read more about stopping smoking.

From what age can children fast safely?

Children are required to fast when they reach puberty. It isn’t harmful. Fasting for children under the age of seven or eight isn’t advisable. It’s a good idea to make children aware of what fasting involves and to practise fasting for a few hours at a time.

Can I use an asthma inhaler during Ramadan?

Muslim experts have differing opinions on this issue. Some say using an asthma inhaler isn’t the same as eating or drinking and is therefore permitted during fasting. In their view, people with asthma can fast and use their inhalers whenever they need to.

But other scholars say the inhaler provides small amounts of liquid medicine to the lungs, so it breaks the fast. They say people with poor control of their asthma mustn’t fast until good control is achieved.

Some people with asthma may opt for longer-acting inhalers so they can fast. See your GP for further advice.

Can I swim during fasting?

Yes, but don’t drink the water. A bath or shower, or swimming, has no effect on the fast. No water should be swallowed during any of these activities, as that would break the fast.

Could dehydration become so bad that you have to break the fast?

Yes. You could become very dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water before the fast. Poor hydration can be made worse by weather conditions and even everyday activities like walking to work or housework.

If you produce very little or no urine, feel disoriented and confused, or faint as a result of dehydration, you must stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid.

Islam doesn’t require you to make yourself ill when you fast. If a fast is broken, it will need to be compensated for by fasting at a later date.

Can I fast while I have dialysis?

People on dialysis mustn’t fast and should perform fidyah, such as paying for someone to be fed.

 

The above excerpt is taken from NHS Ramadan Page http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthyramadan/Pages/faqs.aspx

Healthy Ramadan America 2017

SHARE CCN’s Healthy Ramadan Blog with your friends & family.

Ramadan is here, observed by millions of American Muslims as an act of faith and solidarity with the hungry. But even if you’re not fasting, you can still take this time to improve healthy habits in your daily life.  Compassionate Care Network’s Healthy Ramadan America Campaign is an opportunity for all Americans, both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to practice healthy living. With food insecurity, poor nutrition and hunger affecting so many American families, Ramadan is also a time for all of us to increase solidarity with the underserved.

As  Healthy Ramadan America enters its 3rd year, we set out to establish a robust outreach and education campaign that uses the cultural context of Ramadan as an opening to discuss a wide range of health issues affecting all Americans. We continue to be unique in combining healthy eating with public health discussion on a wide range of topics to foster community conversations in health. It is part of a larger campaign called Healthy Year America, drawing from diverse faith and cultural traditions to initiate and sustain conversations on health.
What is Healthy Ramadan America?
Healthy Ramadan America is CCN’s outreach and education campaign that uses the cultural context of Ramadan as an opening to discuss a wide range of health issues affecting all Americans. It is part of a larger campaign called Healthy Year America, drawing from diverse faith and cultural traditions to initiate and sustain conversations on health.
In the process, Healthy Ramadan America seeks to place conversations related to health and Ramadan squarely in thecontext of mainstream American culture.

Check out CCN’s Healthy Ramadan America Campaign from previous years featured on the front page of The Chicago Tribune.

The tools that Healthy Ramadan America utilizes to initiate and foster these community conversations in health include:

Weekly Talk-Radio Shows
Weekly Newspaper Columns
Daily Blogs
Community Speakers
Grassroots Outreach and Organizing
Mosque Health Ministries
Healthy Ramadan America Blog

During the months preceding Ramadan, CCN’s Healthy Ramadan America Campaign built a coalition of health advocates and community stakeholders through its Healthy Ramadan America Blog – addressing a wide range of social determinants that impact health.
CCN  invites you to join this important public policy conversation during the month of Ramadan, where there are already over 30 days of blog posts on a variety of topics such as:
  • Prevention
  • Heart-Healthy Ethnic Recipes
  • Mental and Emotional Wellness
  • Anti-Violence
  • Active Lifestyles
  • Hunger and Poverty
  • Nutrition
  • Getting and Using Health Coverage
  • Managing Chronic Illness
  • Obesity Prevention and Reduction
  • Health Equity
As we continue to post more Healthy Ramadan tips throughout this month, we invite you to take this time to be intentional about your health, and share these resources with others in your communities through social media. Sign up here to learn more about CCN’s Healthy Ramadan America campaign.

What is Healthy Year America?

Healthy Year America is a wellness education and advocacy campaign by Compassionate Care Network to bring culturally relevant public health information to a diversity of underserved communities across America. By using the traditional celebrations from different cultures as a starting point, we can foster community conversations on health.

Each community has times of the year when families and friends gather to commemorate the past, look to the future, and celebrate values that unite us all. Through Healthy Year America, we seek to use these community traditions as opportunities to create openings where conversations on health can begin. Healthy Ramadan America is the first in a series of these community conversations. Sign up here to add your voice or just follow along.

The goals of Healthy Year America are to:
  1. Raise health awareness and education
    at the local grassroots level
  2. Build community capacity
    for health outreach work with multicultural and interfaith partners
  3. Improve health outcomes

    in underserved communities by providing health resources, community organizing tools, and a support network of healthcare experts to empower people to take charge of their own health

We celebrate a diversity of cultures and faiths, as one nation, through one year of health. Join Compassionate Care Network for a Healthy Year America.

Foods To Eat This Ramadan

bread-2178874_1920

 

Waking up earlier than usual, it is easy to sluggishly reach for the fridge and consume whatever is accessible. However, taking your time to prepare your meal thoughtfully, or even make it the night before, can ease your transition into your fasting routine. It is important to keep in mind what types of foods you are consuming, and how you can optimize your body’s energy consumption. Here are some ideas on what you should consider and what you should avoid:

RECOMMENDED

Lean meats, such as chicken, can serve as a proper source of protein this Ramadan. They can be fried, boiled, or baked. Protein is essential so that the body focuses on burning fat rather than muscle in the fasting state that it is in. Protein also helps keep you fuller longer throughout the day, as it takes longer to digest.
Recommended Proteins: Skinless chicken, turkey, fish

Complex carbohydrates take longer for the body to digest, also keeping you fuller throughout the day. Also consider wholemeal bread and oats.
Recommended Carbohydrates: Oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, beans, peas, lentils
http://www.livestrong.com/article/36528-list-carbs/

Fruits and Vegetables not only keep you feeling full, but also prevent constipation (common while fasting intermittently). They are also an alternative source of water and great for heart health, containing healthy vitamins and minerals.
Recommended Fruits &: High water content fruits and vegetables: watermelon, strawberries, pineapple, oranges, raspberries, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini, celery, cauliflower, eggplant, spinach
https://www.healthxchange.sg/food-nutrition/food-tips/ramadan-fasting-eat-suhoor

Soups are a great way to start the body with a light, hydrating meal. They not only contain water, but also nutrients via vegetables, meats, and herbs.

FOR CHILDREN:
According to dieticians, children should avoid sugary cereals during suhoor. Have them eat eggs, cheese, bread, dates, a small amount of honey, and milk for Vitamin B, Calcium, Protein, and Carbohydrates. This will promote their digestion and provide proper energy for their young bodies.

AVOID

Caffeine: Try your best to slowly curb your caffeine/coffee habit this Ramadan. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it can dehydrate your body through extra urination. This will leave you more thirsty and tired during the day.
Coffee, matcha, tea, caffeine pills
http://www.health24.com/Diet-and-nutrition/Healthy-diets/what-to-eat-during-ramadan-heres-a-complete-meal-plan-20170526

Fried foods: Avoid fried foods. They can also result in increased thirst and stomach bloating during the day.
Samosas, deep-fried fritters (pakoras, Indonesian pisang goreng)

Spicy or Salted Foods: These will result in imbalanced sodium in the body, thus making you extra thirsty.
Pickles, olives, some nuts

Sugary Foods: Sugary foods may supply some energy at first, but they are followed by a lethargic crash. Plus, like the others, it can lead to excessive thirst and bloating. It is best to stick with complex carbohydrates and foods that provide energy throughout the day.
Rooh Afza (sorry!), desserts, other sugary drinks
http://www.boldsky.com/health/wellness/2017/healthy-foods-for-ramadan/articlecontent-pf160848-114099.html

Additionally, many even prefer to eat foods for Suhoor at midnight, then simply wake up for Fajr. Eating food directly before morning prayers will sustain energy for a longer time comparison as well. Try your best to make conscious, healthy decisions before starting your day long fast!