1. Dates are the obvious choice, as the Prophet Mohammed (SAWS) would eat dates for suhur. We have a huge choice when it comes to dates, from large, juicy medjool dates to sugary sukari varieties. If you want to increase the amount of energy and nutrients try adding some nuts by cutting open the dates, removing the stone, and placing cashew, almonds, hazelnuts or a brazil nut inside. Alternatively, you could use date paste and mix it with nuts and seeds to form date balls – check online for recipes to suit your taste, such as https://www.eatingbirdfood.com/date-energy-balls/
2. Overnight oats require minimal preparation and are a healthy start to the day, with long term energy release. Simply place a small cup of oats in a bowl, cover with milk, and leave overnight. In the morning, add sugar or honey to taste, and you’re ready for a busy day. You can create a great deal of variety by adding extras to the oats, such as pineapple and coconut; mixed frozen berries (they will defrost in the bowl overnight); grated dark chocolate and brazil nuts – the list is endless!
3. Eggs – eggs are power houses of energy and vitamins and minerals. Boil a single egg the night before and have it after your overnight oats for a nutritious boost. For large families, pancakes are ideal as adding flour makes the eggs go a long way. Again there’s plenty of options for pancakes, which should please everyone on the family, such as maple syrup; lemon and sugar; strawberries and cream, or even melted chocolate. Try Nigella Lawson’s American pancakes – they can be mixed all at once in a blender, or by hand: https://www.nigella.com/recipes/american-breakfast-pancakes
4. If you struggle to eat at unsocial hours, how about a smoothie? Include a banana or an avocado to keep you going for longer. If you have a tendency to put on weight, use skimmed milk, and if you tend to lose weight in Ramadan, use full fat or Jersey milk to maintain your calorie intake.
5. Try making a meze of different items, which is typical of a Turkish or Arab breakfast, for example: hummus; plain yogurt; fried chicken livers; mixed salads; falafel; olives; foul (cooked beans); soft cheese; feta cheese; halloumi, and cooked meats. Serve with pitta bread, and you shouldn’t be hungry all day!
They say a little of what you fancy does you good, so if you’ve been fasting and eating sensibly, why not have a treat once a week and have those spicy sausages or custard doughnuts? Be sure to add some healthy salad or fruit to ensure you get enough fibre and nutrients.