Youth, Special Diets, and the Daniel Fast
I want to answer some questions I’ve received about the Daniel Fast and how to handle various circumstances.
First things First: Remember the definition of fasting – to restrict food for a spiritual reasons. The Daniel Fast is a biblical model, but there is nothing powerful about the specific foods eaten or not eaten. The “power” in the fast is that a believer is consecrating (setting aside or separating) himself or herself for a period of time for prayer and fasting. This period of consecration will affect the body, soul, and spirit. By restricting some foods on the Daniel Fast, one is taking authority over the flesh and requiring that it submit to the spiritual discipline.
Youth and Teens on the Daniel Fast: First of all, the Daniel Fast is a very healthy diet. So if young people are signing up for the fast, there really isn’t a problem of getting enough nutrition. I think the bigger question is youthfulness, schedules, and perhaps physical demands of young people in sports.
If your child, a Sunday School class, or a youth group is entering the fast, then you might want to ask the young people what would work for them. Perhaps they will fast all sugar and “junk food” and otherwise eat their normal diet. Or maybe they will stick with the Daniel Fast at home, but resume their normal food intake when at school.
Talking with the teens and having them pray about the fast and how they can be authentic and true, but at the same time not set themselves up for failure, is important. Also, if a teen has high protein needs, then keeping eggs and other dairy in the fast might work or not eliminating meat, but just breads, desserts, fried foods, etc.
Diabetic requirements: First of all, anytime you are changing your diet or exercise plan, you should consult your health provider. So please do so if you have special diet needs and plan to enter the Daniel Fast.
With that said, the Daniel Fast is actually a very healthy diet! If you are willing to eat different foods than what you may normally consume, you will have all the protein, vitamins, minerals, and other requirements that your body needs. Since diabetics need to keep their food intake in proper balance, you may need to make some adjustments . . . but that’s all okay. Remember, this is a spiritual fast. Any fast should never cause harm! You might even find yourself in better health while on the Daniel Fast with lower sugar consumption and healthier carbohydrates.
Here’s an idea: Ask your doctor to supply you with a vegan or vegetarian eating plan specifically designed for diabetics. Use this as your fast and then, just like all fasting – stick with the plan! You will likely find it very similar to the Daniel Fast.
Special Health Needs: If you are currently under a doctor’s care or have health issues that concern you, please be sure to consult your health provider before entering the fast. Direct them to this site where they have immediate access to the Daniel Fast food list and guidelines.
Other questions: Please contact me if you have other thoughts and questions. My goal with the site is to provide quality information for people as they seek a deeper relationship with the Lord through prayer and fasting.