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Importance Of Preparing A Meal Plan & Stocking Up Pantry For Ramadan

Pantry Ramadan

Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

During Ramadan, there is much to be gained from preparing a meal plan and stocking up your pantry for the month. This is the month where we want to waste as little time as possible and gain as much blessings as we possibly can, especially in this month where blessings are multiplied. One way that we can minimize our time in the kitchen, and maximize our worship time, is by having all the things we need to prepare our quick healthy meals for the entire month. We would then have much more time on our hands to read Quran, do Dhikr as well as do charitable actions.

Follow these 5 steps in order to effectively plan and execute your meals for the month of Ramadan:

  • Plan your menu: one for Ramadan and the other for Eid-ul-Fitr if you are going to have people over. Create a shopping list of all the items you can purchase before Ramadan even begins, to stock up your pantry. Ensure that you include all the non-perishable items needed for meals. 
  • Include healthy options by ensuring that the meals which you plan are geared towards a balanced diet with little fatty foods and carbohydrates and instead, more protein, lean meat, and beans. More tips for healthy meal options are listed below. 
  • Shop for staples before Ramadan in order to eliminate the need to do a major shopping trip during Ramadan which can be time consuming. Ensure that you purchase the necessary portions of items in order to complete your meals. 
  • Clean your poultry and cut it upto the size you want prior to freezing. This would be a huge help during the month and would eliminate hours spent in the kitchen which could be used for worship. 
  • Inform the household of your meal plans and delegate each meal to one or two members of the family so that one person does not have to spend their Ramadan in the kitchen. 

3 things which you should keep in mind when making healthy food choices are:

1. Whole Foods

The Qu’ran clearly states, “Ye people eat of what is on earth, lawful and wholesome”
{Surat Al-Baqarah 2: Verse 168}

We should aim at lessening our intake of un-wholesome or processed foods and gear our meal plans to unprocessed and whole foods. When you eat whole foods, you are getting food in its natural state which is so much healthier. Some examples of whole foods include: fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. A simple substitute of whole grain rice with our regular rice would make such a huge difference in our diet.

2. Fruits
Fruits are an amazing natural source of vitamins which your body requires for proper functioning. Your plan should include at least one fruit for each Suhoor meal, that is, the meal you have at the beginning of your fast. Numerous fruits are mentioned throughout the Quran and Allah has provided these natural delicacies for us to enjoy.
Also, it is sunnah for us to break our fast with dates which provides a good source of vitamins A and B6, folic acid, potassium, natural sodium, iron, and magnesium. Thus, eating dates daily during Ramadan is like taking a daily multivitamin.Dates also have a special place in Islam. In fact, they were one of the Prophet’s (salallahualeyhiwasallam) most frequently consumed foods. For this reason, their benefit is most likely spiritual as well as physical.
After we have our meals, instead of snacking on unhealthy desserts, we can try to serve light fruits such as apple and grapes to satisfy our sweet tooth while still maintaining healthy choices.

3. Portioning
Furthermore, proper portioning is a major way in which we can control how much we eat, and avoid wastage and obesity.

The Qur’an says, “Eat of the good things we have provided for your sustenance but commit no excess therein”
{Surat Ţāhā 20: Verse 81}

Eating healthy does not only mean the types of food which we consume, but it also includes the amount we eat. Over-eating is not becoming in Islam. We are taught that we must eat in moderation.

“Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach. It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a few bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes more, it should be: One-third for his food, one-third for his liquids, and one-third for his breath.”
[Tirmidhi& Ibn Majah]

I hope that this article inspires you to pre-plan your meals for the month of Ramadan in order to maximize your spiritual time during this blessed month. Remember that you can print out this article for ease of reference and don’t forget to share the inspiration with those around you! Always keep in mind that we can achieve anything once we set our minds to it; and if we can dream it, we can achieve it. So let’s make this Ramadan one to remember and one that would benefit us greatly in the Hereafter.

All the best for Ramadan 2014! 

Authored by RHAli
Edited by Noorain Fathima

Prophet Muhammad - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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