How Kids Can Help With Iftar

Posted by Hilyat Hasan - -

By Sumayyah Meehan

There is nothing worse than being stuck in the kitchen all day during the holy month of Ramadan. This precious month comes but once a year and every single minute should be utilized to the fullest in the worship of Allah Most High. It is so hard for moms to unleash the chains of cooking and cleaning all day, especially when guests are expected for the iftar feast. But with a little preplanning and help from your kids, you can break free from the chains of your stovetop and get back to your worship of Allah Most High.

Here are some fun and no-nonsense ways to get help from even the smallest Muslim in your family.

Keep It Simple

Ramadan is not really the time to experiment with new recipes or prepare fancy dishes. This will only add to the time you have to spend in the kitchen and increase your anxiety. Make it a habit to prepare and freeze yummy appetizers and the like before Ramadan even commences. Good choices for freezing are steak or chicken pies, potato kebabs, and spring rolls.

As for cooking meals on a daily basis, try to stick to a quick and kid-friendly menu. Having kids in the kitchen when there are hot pots or popping oil is very dangerous and will add to your already high stress level.

Some Quick Friendly Ideas

Appetizers. Make a large veggies tray complete with carrot and cucumber sticks, tomato wedges, and chopped cauliflower. Let the children make the dip by mixing 1 cup of sour cream with a pack of French onion soup mix.

Main course. Use pre-packaged tortillas to make simple sandwich wraps. Layer different deli meats on each tortilla, add some mustard or mayonnaise, and roll.

Beverages. Put together a pitcher of jazzed-up juice for your iftar beverage. Fill an ice cube tray with cherry juice and freeze solid. In a large pitcher, have the kids pour in one quart of orange juice and one quart of 7-Up. Plop the cubes in before serving.

Dessert. Make healthy fruit kebabs for a nutritious dessert. Wash and cut various fruits into bite-sized pieces. Good choices are strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, and bananas (dipped in lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown). Let the kids assemble the skewers. Chill in the fridge and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Here is a simple guide you can follow to take away some of the guesswork and get the help you so desperately need.

Ages 3 – 5

Kids this age can
- Help mix batter
- Knead dough
- Lend a helping hand by measuring and pouring ingredients into a bowl

Ages 6 – 8

Kids this age can
- Vacuum and straighten up the home
- Set the table
- Make decorative place cards when having guests
- Fold napkins into fun shapes

Ages 9 – 11 Years

Kids this age can
- Read to you from a cookbook as you whip the recipe together
- Help you plan meals, make a grocery list, and gather the groceries from the store
- Prepare simple things like salads or an easy no-bake dessert
- Clear the table and do the washing up

So let's get the kids into the kitchen and involved in preparing the iftar meal. They will learn lifelong culinary skills along the way, and it will also strengthen the familial bond as you create meals together. Most importantly, moms can get out of the kitchen faster and get back to what Ramadan is really about — the worship of Allah Most High.