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Make a date shake

First suggested by Muslim Scout Fellowship
Learn about Ramadan and celebrate Iftar, with this date milkshake recipe.

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You’ll need

  • Ingredients (see recipe)
  • Blender
  • Cups
  • Tablespoons

Before you begin 

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Take a look at our guidance to help you carry out your risk assessment, including examples.  
  • Make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers. 
  • Check for allergies, intolerances, fasting, food-related medical conditions, eating disorders, food sensitivities or dietary requirements, then adjust the food items used as needed. This may include making sure there’s no cross-contamination of packaging and no cross-contamination during the storage, preparation, cooking and serving. 
  • You may need to use separate chopping boards, equipment and utensils, such as tongs or toasters, for different dietary requirements, allergies and foods.
  • If you’re unsure, check with the young person and their parents or carers. You can check with the adult directly if it’s a volunteer or helper.
  • Some people may not like certain food textures or tastes and that’s OK. People don’t need to use all the ingredients if they don’t want to, and no-one should be made to try foods if they don’t want to. You can try to find an alternative for them. 
  • Take a look at our guidance on food preparation
  • You could run our kitchen hygiene activities before this session.
  • Always have a hand washing station, washing hands regularly throughout this activity, and taking extra hygiene precautions when handling food. If you're using gloves to prepare food, treat them like your hands. Wash any gloves before using them and in between if necessary.
  • Spray and wipe down all working surfaces and tables with anti-bacterial spray before and after use, and wash any equipment you’re using in hot soapy water.
  • Take extra hygiene precautions when handling raw meat, such as regular hand washing.
  • Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods separate, having separate equipment for raw and cooked meat, and washing up equipment as soon as it's been used. 
  • Make sure food is properly cooked before you serve it. Always cut through poultry and meat to make sure it's fully cooked, especially when barbecuing food. Make sure it's cooked slowly and thoroughly, and not just done on the outside.
  • Always follow cooking instructions and never use food past its use-by date. 
  • Keep food out of the fridge for the shortest time possible.
  • At the start of this activity, remind everyone of kitchen or indoor cooking safety rules and how to act safely. Always tie hair back, tuck in neckers and loose clothing, and wear closed toe shoes. Take a look at our kitchen safety tips.
  • You may want to run a demonstration on how to use the equipment safely, such as for cooking or chopping ingredients. You could use our kitchen safety activities before this session.
  • Make sure any cooking equipment or heat sources, such as ovens and hobs, always have adult supervision, including during free time and arrival times. If anyone struggles with sensing danger, you should consider providing extra adult supervision. This could be especially helpful at unstructured times, such as breaks or waiting to cook.
  • Remind everyone to keep their fingers away from any knives. You may want to use blunt, child-friendly knives, or you could also have ingredients pre-chopped.
  • If you’re using a gas stove, tabletop hob plates or a mini oven, make sure it’s on a stable heatproof surface and in a clear and open area, with plenty of ventilation. Gas appliances and sources can increase risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Take a look at our guidance on different cooking methods and carbon monoxide.
  • You may want to put child-safe locks on cupboard doors to prevent access by young people, especially for cupboards containing matches, cleaning products or chemicals.
  • People can work in small groups or as a whole group to bake or cook. Each group should have adult supervision.
  • You may want to be in groups, but everyone to use the same cooking source, rather than having each group have their own.
  • You may wish for groups to make or prepare the ingredients in a wider, more spacious area, then invite each group into the kitchen to cook one at a time. 
  • Remember the groups not using the kitchen or cooking will still need to be supervised, always following the Yellow Card
  • Make sure you have all the ingredients ready. You may want to pre-chop or pre-measure some activities.

Scouts is open to everyone. We don’t identify exclusively with one faith, and we welcome people of all faiths and of none.

We know it’s important for people to learn about each other, including understanding different faiths and beliefs. Scouts always respects people’s beliefs, faiths and cultures, and everyone should be open to learn.

As an inclusive and values based movement, we support our members to engage and learn about different faiths and beliefs in an exciting and meaningful way, even if they don’t have a faith themselves.  

Celebrating and understanding differences, including differences in faiths and beliefs, is an important part of our Scout values, which are:

  • Integrity: We act with integrity; we are honest, trustworthy and loyal.
  • Respect: We have self-respect and respect for others.
  • Care: We support others and take care of the world in which we live.
  • Belief: We explore our faiths, beliefs and attitudes.
  • Co-operation: We make a positive difference; we co-operate with others and make friends.

Our value of Belief and its exploration helps Scouts to learn from other faiths and beliefs. This encourages them to develop or build their personal beliefs and understand their shared values, whether faith-based on not. 

We know that learning about faiths, beliefs and different attitudes can help to break down barriers, helps us all to recognise what we have in common, and teaches us to value and respect other people. It also helps us to build up respect, acceptance and knowledge for each other, leading to a more co-operative and inclusive society. 

In our diverse society, people can sometimes feel cautious talking about  this sensitive subject. However, it's important that Scouts offers young people safe, exciting and open spaces to explore faiths and beliefs. They should be able to engage in personal reflection, as they question and develop their opinions and understanding of the world around them.

Making time for personal reflection and developing our beliefs means exploring the places, people, communities, celebrations or stories which hold meaning for us, and it may not necessarily mean exploring a faith. 

For example, someone’s shared values may be their Scout Values and that person may choose to reflect on them at important times, such as when they make their Promise. Others may choose to reflect at certain times of the year, such as a faith-based festival, birthdays, meaningful events or at New Year. Some people may still celebrate events, such as Christmas, but use it as a time to celebrate family, friends and loved ones, as well as for charity and giving.

Discover more about Faiths and Beliefs in Scouts.


Planning and setting up this activity

  • This is a great activity to do to during the Islamic month of Ramadan. The dates of Ramadan change every year because Islam uses a calendar based on the cycles of the Moon.  
  • If anyone in your group is fasting, have a watertight container for them to take their shake home to enjoy during Iftar. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours.  
  • You could get in touch with the Muslim Scout Fellowship (MSF), one of our National Scout Active Support Units, and see if there are any nearby Scout groups you could link up with. MSF run a range of events over Ramadan, so see what’s happening near you.   
  • You might want to practise the recipe before the session, to see how it works with your blender. If you need to make the dates easier to blend, they can be softened by soaking them in water for 10 to 20 minutes. 
  • Remember to give a safety briefing for the cooking equipment and methods you’re using. You may wish to demonstrate the methods or activity before you all start cooking.

Talk about Ramadan 

  1. Ask if anyone knows anything about Ramadan. Does anyone in the group observe it? What does it involve?  
  2. Tell everyone some facts about Ramadan, such as:
    • Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic year. It lasts for around 30 days and is measured from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.
    • It's a very spiritual time for Muslims, and an important time for self-reflection and gratitude.
    • It's the month when the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
    • It's a time for fasting, worship, service, giving to charity, coming together and spiritual development. 
    • After Ramadan, Muslims have a day of celebration called Eid al-Fitr.
  3. Explain that in Islam, fasting involves going without eating or drinking anything from sunrise to sunset. Several groups of people aren’t required to fast, including children, the elderly, or people who are on their period, pregnant, breastfeeding or ill.
  4. Does anyone know what Iftar is? If they don't, tell everyone that Iftar is the meal that breaks the fast after sunset.
  5. Does anyone know why lots of people like to break their fast with dates? The Prophet Muhammad used to break his fast with dates and water. Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad is the best example of how they should live their lives. Dates are also high in sugar, which means they’re tasty and a great way to restore low blood sugar levels after a day of fasting.  

Getting ready to cook 

  1. Everyone should wash their hands and gather in a circle.  Tell everyone you’re going to make a date shake.
  2. Now, everyone should get into smalls groups and gather their ingredients and equipment.  

Date shake recipe 


  • 200ml milk  
  • One tablespoon honey  
  • One tablespoon peanut butter  
  • One ripe banana   
  • Three dates  
  • Pinch of salt  
  • Ice (optional) 

You can also use frozen bananas in this recipe. 

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 5 mins 

Makes: 1 date shake

Make your date shake 

  1. If your dates aren’t pitted, each group should carefully open the dates and remove the stones.  
  2. Someone should peel the banana and chop it into pieces.  
  3. Another person should carefully add the dates and banana pieces to the blender. You can also use frozen banana if you want to.  
  4. The group should then add the honey, peanut butter, milk and salt. You may wish to add in some ice too.
  5. With adult supervision, each group should blend the mixture until it's smooth. 
  6. An adult should rinse out the blender between groups if any of the groups are using different ingredients. 
  7. An adult should pour or supervise pouring the shake into cups and the group can enjoy tasting it. 
  8. People can also put them in a watertight container, such as a water bottle, to take it home and keep it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.  
  9. You could try out some different flavours. You could try adding a drop of vanilla extract, a sprinkle of spices (such as cinnamon), or adding some berries for a sweet taste.  


This activity gave everyone the chance to learn more about practices in Islam. Was there anything that surprised you? Is there anything you’d like to learn more about? 

Can you think of any other faiths where people might practise fasting? Fasting’s practiced in several religions, such as for Lent, Yom Kippur, Fast of Easter and Ramadan.

For most people who follow a specific faith, this guides and governs their daily lives and practices. Whether you’ve a faith or not, what are your most important values or beliefs? For example, you may believe in kindness or value honesty and compassion. You could think about the values we share as Scouts; integrity, respect, care, cooperation and belief.

Muslim members of the group might also want to reflect on what Ramadan means to them or their family.


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Remember to check for allergies, eating problems, fasting or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. Make sure you’ve suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods. Take a look at our guidance on food safety and hygiene.


Teach young people how to use cooking equipment safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Make sure it’s safe to use and follow manufacturers’ guidelines for use.

Electrical equipment

Inspect cables for any damage before each use. A responsible adult should supervise people using equipment, and people should follow instructions on how to use them correctly and safely. They should be properly maintained and stored. Be extra cautious of trailing cables and water when using electric equipment.

  • Remember to check for allergies or dietary requirements and adjust the recipe as needed. This may mean using alternative ingredients. 
  • The blender may be noisy and some people might find this difficult. People may choose to wear ear defenders, take a break from the activity or prefer to stay a distance away from the activity and that’s OK.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Why not invite someone to a session to talk about their faith, using the activity Faith feathers, and find out what Ramadan means to them?

If you’ve any Muslim members in your group, you could offer them the opportunity to share their experiences, but only if they want to and are comfortable to do so. You may want to ask or chat to them before the session, so they don’t feel put on the spot or singled out.