Mighty Blog

Children’s Minnesota celebrates Ramadan during COVID-19

At Children’s Minnesota, we recognize and celebrate people from all different backgrounds. We spoke with Dr. Samreen Vora, medical director of simulation at Children’s Minnesota, to learn more about Ramadan and how Children’s Minnesota is celebrating.

What is Ramadan and how is it celebrated?

Ramadan is an Islamic holiday celebrated by Muslims around the world. It is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims engage in fasting from dawn until dusk each day during this month. This year, Ramadan is celebrated from Sunday, April 13 through Wednesday, May 13.

“We not only refrain from food, drink, smoking, intimate relations, but we also strive to maintain a heightened level of self-control through acts such as avoiding disagreements, anger, and greed,” said Dr. Vora.

Participating in Ramadan is a test of willpower and resilience, a time for community building and also a way to learn to empathize for those who may experience hunger and thirst regularly.

What does Children’s Minnesota do to help Muslim patients and families?

Children’s Minnesota staff have done an incredible job of acknowledging the Muslim patients and families who are facing the extra burden of being in the hospital during this time. During Ramadan, child and family services team members round every evening and hand out dates and water at Iftar time (or sunset, breaking of the fast).

Patient and family services team members round every evening and hand out dates and water at Iftar time.

Tips for staying healthy while fasting

Passing out food and water during Ramadan

During the times you do eat during Ramadan, it’s important to make sure you’re eating healthy meals. Dr. Vora recommends focusing on foods rich in protein, fruits and vegetables and making sure to stay hydrated.

How do kids stay healthy while celebrating Ramadan?

“Kids are not required to fast during Ramadan, but often they see their parents, their siblings, their community members fasting and really want to be part of it,” said Dr. Vora. “Having that sense of community for kids can be so crucial during this pandemic.”

  • Younger kids: could fast for part of the day, an hour or two, or half of the day.
  • Older kids: if they’re fasting for the full day, teaching them to pay attention and listen to their bodies.

If your child has a medical condition or is an athlete, it’s really important to consult a pediatrician before they start fasting.

Signs a child should break their fast

Some children and teens may not respond well to fasting. So, it’s important for families to teach kids to listen to their bodies and to know the symptoms to watch for. Breaking a fast could be considered if they’re feeling one or all of these symptoms:

  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Mood swings.

What is Eid al-Fitr?

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated after completing a month of fasting. The day consists of gathering together for the traditional Eid prayer in the morning and the feast during the day.

COVID-19 has made celebrating Eid al-Fitr a little complicated. Many Muslims will have to celebrate at home rather than gathering together in groups to celebrate. In the effort to remain grateful in honor of Ramadan, Dr. Vora encourages you to wish your colleagues and friends Eid Mubarak on May 14.

What is Children’s Minnesota doing during Eid al-Fitr?

In recognition of Eid, Children’s Minnesota has added books about Ramadan and Eid to be handed out during the rounds as small Eid gifts for the kids. In addition, Child Life specialists will also be handing out gifts to recognize Eid as well.

Watch to learn more

Dr. Vora discusses all-things Ramadan on WCCO, from staying healthy during fasting to charitable contributions you can make.

Alexandra Rothstein