Yumna Moosa – firstname.lastname@example.org
08 February 2023 | 1 minute read | 23:30 CAT
Families are constantly trying to figure out new ways to implement healthier eating habits in Ramadan, and one of the greatest ways to do that is to choose healthier food options when it comes to preparing meals. Many Muslim food gatherings rely on heavily refined carbohydrates with plates piled full of starches such as white rice, pasta, and bread. These may be the most economical food choices for a budget, however they devoid of nutritional value and can lead to diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes.
The key to including healthier options is in developing a community culture where food gatherings are not made to satiate the pallet, but rather to provide nourishment and opportunities for fellowship. Communities need to be reeducated and new mindsets need to be cultivated for health and nutrition to become a priority.
An unfortunate trend in many communities is for the host to provide extra large portions and an array of options and servings. This causes people to eat beyond their needs. Sacrificing health for nutrition sets a bad example for children and younger impressionable members of our community.
Childhood obesity rates are rising and we owe it to our community to change their eating paradigms. Some suggestions for improving community eating habits include:
- Offering water instead of sugary drinks
- Using smaller plates and cups to control portion sizes
- Reduce food waste
- Add more vegetables and wholegrains to menus
- Limit the fat, sugar and salt content of dishes
- Ask parents to be more responsible when fixing plates for their children
- And recycle paper, aluminum and plastic produce
Communities have a responsibility to set children on a healthy path. Though these suggestions may not be popular, one could argue that food nutrition should be prioritized at food gatherings. We have to take initiative and play an active role in making better choices for us and those around us.
The full segment with Annisa Essack can be found on the Radio Islam International SoundCloud