Are you all enjoying the Summer and looking forward to the final days of school before the Holidays?
This time of the year is when Mums and Dads are frantically working to final deadlines in order to make time for much needed holidays, and with the holy month of Ramadan starting earlier this year we want to reflect on respecting yourselves and above all those around you. It is a month worth being grateful and we want to give you a few tips on how to be a kinder better you.
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Healthy nutrition during Ramadan is important, as well as for the remaining months of the year to maintain good health. Rita Martins, Clinical Dietitian at Mediclinic Welcare Hospital, shares her insights.
Meals during Ramadan must be of a wide variety, so that it contains all the vital and basic nutrients, which the human body needs to stay healthy and for proper function. A healthy dietary pattern must include:
- Complex carbohydrates source; whole grains and foods made from them, such as oatmeal, pasta, and whole-grain breads; starchy vegetables – potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, pumpkin and pulses like beans, lentils, garbanzo beans and green peas.
- Proteins sources; fish, poultry, meat and eggs;
- Healthy sources of vegetables fats: nuts, almonds, hazel nuts, cashew nuts, olive oil, corn and sunflower oil.
- Vitamins & Minerals found in milk and dairy products (give preference to low fat dairy products), bread, vegetables and fruits.
The amount of food consumed should be in balance with the activities being done. The higher the food intake, the greater the amount of calories that are stored in the body as fat. Be very careful and avoid to overeat during Ramadan because that can lead to unexpected weight gain! Plan in advance to consume meals early to ensure the body is getting the nutrients and fluids it needs to function properly.
Eat Suhoor before dawn, with a light and healthy meal, give preference to complex carbohydrates, lean protein (like poultry), healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water.
It is recommended to start the Iftar meal with 3 dates and a cup of warm low fat soup (such as vegetables or grain soup). The natural sugar of the dates will provide energy and the soup will give some fluid, that needs to be replaced. You may also have a cup of low fat butter milk. This approach helps your body adjust to eating after the long hours of fasting.
- Eat a healthy and balanced dinner in the early evening and avoid fatty & heavy meals.
- Stay away from soft drinks, tea, and coffee and replace them with water.
- Replace sweet dishes and chocolates with fresh fruits.
- Avoid fast food as well spicy food as it tends to be very high in fat and sodium and lead to heartburn and indigestion.
- Avoid sleeping immediately after eating. Many people feel sleepy after consuming their meals. This is due to consuming large amount of food and beverages in a short period of time. This disturbs the natural digestive system mechanisms. It requires to be gently alerted by a small starting meal.
- Drink between 8 to 10 cups of water among the Iftar & Sahoor meals, not with or immediately after the Iftar meal.
- Use small amounts of corn oil or sunflower oil in cooking.
- Replace full cream milk and dairy products for low-fat dairy products.
- Give preference to fish and chicken instead of red meat like beef and lamb, (red meat it’s very high in fat).
- Give preference to brown bread instead of white bread.
- Eat a moderate to high quantity of vegetables during Iftar and Suhoor
- Make sure you eat a high quantity of high fiber foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, they make you fuller for a longer time and they are low in fat.
- Cooking methods to avoid is everything fried or pan fried or foods rich in sauces (sauces normally are high in salt and also can be in fat).
- Cook more food boiled, grilled or roasted.
- Limit the consumption of sodium and pickles intake (excess of sodium lead to thirst after)
Regarding exercise, Ramadan it’s not an excuse to stop exercise completely. It is still important continue exercising during Ramadan because will help maintain the metabolic rate, fitness level, and proper function of the body’s systems.
Exercise also helps to prevent the undesirable weight gain, avoid loss of muscle strength, and supports maintenance of muscle mass.
There are several benefits if you maintain exercise during Ramadan, where fasters are advised to restrain their daily activities during fasting hours and to practice moderate to high, activity after fast breaks with regularly. All of these aspects will help achieve health objectives that are set during the Holy Month of Ramadan and for the remaining months of the year.
Light activities that can be made during fasting hours are: park your car a little bit further when you reach a destination (make sure it’s a comfortable walking distance for you, and you tolerate the heat!). Use the stairs instead of the elevator, stretch your muscles several times during day, at home try small activities like arrange drawers or cabinets. If you have a pet (dog or cat) play with him or her. Just avoid strenuous exercise during fasting hours, especially exercises that increases your heart-rate such as running, cycling or heavy weight lifting. All these kind of exercises will lead to dehydration, fatigue, low blood sugar levels and muscle breakdown making you feel uncomfortable.
Activities that you can do after breaking your fast are: brisk walking, jogging, cycling, weight lifting or swimming for 30-45 minutes per day. Wait for 2 to 3 hours after your Iftar meal or before Sahoor meal to give your body the chance to digest the food.
Hydrate your body and drink adequate amounts of water. Limit your intake of caffeine-containing drinks, such as coffee, tea, or cola, as cited before because as these will deplete your body of water.
For last get enough sleep / rest – schedule you’re sleeping hours adequately, because rest is important for recovery and maintaining a healthy body.
Mediclinic Welcare Hospital
Harkee, from ‘As they grow‘, a Mummy blogger extraordinaire shares with us, ‘Respecting Others, Respecting Yourself’. Follow her on www.AStheygrow.me,
We are approaching a very special time in the UAE, one of the most important times in the Muslim calendar – the holy month of Ramadan. For both muslims and non-muslim expats alike it is a time to think about those around you, especially those less fortunate; a time to think about what you can do to make a difference in the life of another person, in whatever way you can, big or small.
Ramadan is a great opportunity to teach children about being part of a community and doing your part as a community member to spread the message of peace and love. Even if you are not religious, this is a universal message that all children benefit from. There are many ways we, as parents, can get our children involved, depending on the ages of our children. A popular Ramadan tradition for kids is a good deeds calendar, where each day of Ramadan the child is assigned a good deed to complete. This can be adapted for any age group by changing the good deeds appropriately. For toddlers and young children good deeds could be very simple tasks like offering a smile to a stranger, remembering to say please and thank you, helping to tidy away their toys or sharing their toys with friends. As children get older they can help with shopping for items to create care packages for labourers, choosing some of their own toys and outgrown belongings to donate to charity, helping to distribute dates and other snacks around Iftar time, or baking or making small Ramadan snacks or gifts for class mates and neighbours. While it would be great to reach as many people as you can with your child’s good deeds, it is also important for children to learn that making a difference in the life of even one person is reward enough and should make all their efforts worthwhile, so any small gesture of kindness goes a long way.
As we teach our kids to respect and care for those around them, it is also important for us to remember to respect our needs and to take care of ourselves too. Mums in particular tend to find it difficult to switch off or allow themselves to put themselves first. During Ramadan everything in the UAE generally slows down which makes it a perfect time to carve out some time for yourself, when other pressures may be more relaxed (especially if you are hosting Iftars at home, then you will definitely need to relax afterwards!). Whether you take 15 minutes to meditate or practice yoga before everyone else wakes up, leave daddy to deal with bed time while you meet a friend for dinner or block out some time to go to the gym or spa, don’t be afraid to make that time non-negotiable, something that needs to be respected by the whole family. Alternatively engage the kids in an activity that allows you to relax and treat yourself too, how about getting the kids to make a child-friendly edible face mask with avocado, banana and yoghurt and “painting” each other with it for an at-home spa treatment?! Taking time for yourself will teach your children to respect you as a person not just mum, and sets an example for taking care of themselves when they are older too.
Parents Play Date
Wanting to raise happy, expressive and confident kids? New in Dubai : InnerMagic® children’s self-esteem game is an amazing board game for 5 – 13 year olds and parents, that gets everyone moving, thinking and speaking, while improving confidence. Also get her practical book: ParentMagic – raising kids positively, both by psychologist Carol Surya.
Learn more on www.carolsurya.com
We are giving away 1(One) Inner Magic Game and 6(Six)Parent Magic Books to 7(Seven) Lucky Parents. Now, available at Magrudy’s
Please tag a picture of you and your little one as you play with each other in a positive way, tag it, #Afterschoolae #Yoga #Meditation #Positivethinking #Selfesteem #Ramadan
Our Top Picks
Masterminds Nursery, with qualifications in Hatha Yoga from India and Kids Yoga from Groovy Kids Yoga in Dubai, along with eight years of personal practice and professional development; I can confidently say that yoga supports and loves all kids and all kids, in return, love and support their yoga practice.
Yoga at Masterminds encourages lots of movement and stillness. It nurtures balance, coordination and meditative mindfulness and sets a wonderful foundation for life. Children develop full body awareness, self-confidence, self-esteem, and skills for life in a fun, non-competitive and joyful manner.
Urban Energy Fitness, We’re passionate about our fitness and we believe exercise should be fun for kids as well as adults. Whether you want swim lessons in your community pool, a kids dance class or to sign up for our popular Reebok Junior Run Club we can help your child develop a lifelong enjoyment of exercise. We also offer a full range of child friendly fitness classes for mums with kids age 4 months to 4 years. http://afterschool.ae/company/activities/urban-energy-fitness
Meet a Teacher
Ms Marie Travers, has been teaching for 5 Years, and works at Kid’s Island & Cocoon Nursery, she teaches Nursery level.
We asked Ms Travers why she loves teaching, she says, “ I love being able to give the ‘little people’ in my class the tools for them to become confident, happy, independent individuals.”
Ms Travers believes it is important to have some ‘Me‘ time, and enjoys sitting back for a well-deserved manicure & pedicure every now and again to give her a moment out of her busy schedule.
We think teachers are so great at what they do as they have had wonderful people inspire them. We asked Ms Travers who inspired her, she smiled and told us, “My mother is the most inspirational person I know. She is a strong and independent woman, she has had to deal with some very tough times in her life, but she has always battled through. She has taught me that strength comes from within.”
Date Loaf specially for Ramadan!
What’s better to celebrate Ramadan with celebrating Dates, why not bake a Date Loaf and give it to your neighbour.
Prep time ~ 20 mins ~
Cook time ~ 60 mins ~
Total time 80 mins
Ingredients: 3 pkts Pitted Dates(600 grams), 1.5 tbsp Bicarbonate of Soda, 2 Cups boiling water, 2 Cups Sugar, 3 Cups Plain Flour, 3 Eggs, 3 tbsp Butter, Pinch of Salt and 0.5 tsp of Cinnamon.
Tools: Spatula, Mixing Bowl x2, Wax Paper, Baking Loaf Pan, Tin Foil
Step 1: Put your 3 packets of pitted dates into a bowl, add 1.5 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda, pinch of salt and 2 cups of boiling water, leave to the side, when cool add 3 eggs and lightly mix together
Step 2: Mix 2 cups of sugar, with 3 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, and 0.5 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Step 3: Add Step 1 and Step 2 together in a bowl, mixture should represent a thick cake batter, if a little loose add some more flour
Preheat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius or 450 Fahrenheit
Line and grease your baking pan
Add mixture to pan and bake for 50 minutes, prick middle with a toothpick, if not cooked, place tin foil on top of loaf to prevent it taking on too much colour and put back in over for a further 5-15 minutes until cooked.
Allow the loaf to cool, and wrap in tin foil to keep it fresh
Enjoy with sum butter!
Practice the word of the month with your kids, the word this month is:
In the Theatre:
Dancin’ on The Sidewalk
When: 3rd and 4th of June 2016
Location: Madinat Theatre
We are thrilled as we are going to be reviewing Fun City this month, but why not go check it out with your little ones, where Funville, Fun City and Fun Block will entertain your kids for hours. Go on… you know your little ones are going to love it!
Watch out for our month of ‘Ramadan Suprise Give-aways’!
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