My New Ramadan Traditions
Last year, I went all out for Eid! If you haven’t read the post, check it out here for ideas on how to make Ramadan special for kids living in non-Muslim countries through gift-giving, decorations, and family traditions. I also shared another blog post about celebrating Ramadan despite coranavirus last year with information about how to make the most of the month through self care and healthy living tips. Although we are still living the pandemic a year later, 2021 has seen the distribution of the vaccine. We don’t know the long-term changes but as of right now, most states allow gatherings of people who have completed a full round of vaccine treatment. Otherwise social distancing is still recommended. But as I mention in my other two posts, it’s still possible to make Ramadan a special time, even this year.
Preparing for Ramadan
Deep clean the house by yourself or with hired help through companies like Molly Maid, or people you find on apps like Thumbtack, the Nextdoor Neighborhood app, or Facebook marketplace. On average, I pay $200 maximum for a full house cleaning and I have a two-story four-bedroom home.
Organize the pantry by removing anything that’s expired or you no longer eat. Get rid of those stale crackers and the dried fruit sitting in the back. Make room for all of the foods you’re going to need during Ramadan. Label whatever you want to and wrap what you need to in order to keep it fresh. I recommend bag clips, zip lock bags, and containers.
Stock up on everything especially canned goods. If you haven’t had chickpeas/garbanzo beans, I highly recommend adding them to your pantry. They’re a great bean that taste like a meaty protein and can be roasted quickly in the oven.
Prepare your dining space (and other major spaces in your house) for Ramadan. Make sure they’re not only clean, but they’re prepared for everyone in the house to be able to sit together. If you need more seating, try to add a few chairs before the month starts. You can even set up table placements if you really want to get fancy! Feel free to decorate too; my family loved the decorations last year.
Do a practice fast two weeks ahead of time consisting of only fruits, veggies, and liquids such as water and tea. I’ve heard that this can help prepare your body so it won’t come as much of a shock when you start fasting.
Breaking Fast during Ramadan
The time is changing because this year Ramadan is happening in the month of April. On my side of the world, that means we will break our fast between 8pm and 9pm over the course of the month. This is a big change from when we used to break our fast at almost 11pm.
The best way to break your fast is with dates and water. Dates can help bring sugar levels back up after a long day of fasting. Even if you’re not fasting, dates can help manage overeating so you can keep dates in your diet even after Ramadan. Soups or other light liquid based meals can also help ease the body after a few dates when fasting. Try to pace yourself, as tempting as it will be to eat everything!
Apps to Make Your Ramadan Easier
Muslim Pro is the best app I’ve used as a Muslim. It connects you to all the basics and resources you need, including the Qu’ran, the Muslim calendar, and other information that is really helpful during Ramadan like the prayer times. We break our fast at the Sunset prayer time and Muslim Pro can remind you when that is every night.
– tracks your water intake, which can be hard to watch since you’re not drinking during the day. If you usually drink a gallon of water and want to try to continue that even during Ramadan, it helps to have this app tracking how much your drinking between sunset and sunrise.
Zero: Fasting & Health Tracker can help you manage your weight loss during Ramadan. Some people lose a lot of weight during Ramadan just from fasting. But for some of us, it’s not that simple. This app can help with the do’s and dont’s to help.
The Ramadhan Guide is the tool that can help with the spiritual side of Ramadan. It has prayers and duas for several components, including breaking fast.
Teaching Your Kids about Ramadan
PBS Program where Nadia, a young Muslim-American girl, describes the celebration of Ramadan. She narrates a day in the life of her family of parents and siblings as she completes the fast for a whole day. Nadia explains when Ramadan happens, what happens from the beginning to the end of the day, and what it means for adults and children.
Printable Pages can be fun to complete with your kids.
Remember to decorate your house and the kids’ rooms! This seriously makes a big difference and will give you a smile throughout the month. You can find all kinds of Eid decorations on Amazon.
Buy your gifts early! The sooner you buy, the more thought and energy you can put into your gifts. You’ll be surprised how exhausting it can be to buy gifts last minute. Check out stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Burlington for affordable gifts. You can find some great kids gifts at Pottery Barn Kids and Children’s Place. Colognes and watches can be nice gifts for the men in your life. While you’re at it, get yourself something nice too!