. . . And look at all those children! There they sit around your table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees.
I love it when research actually validates what God has said! This verse indicates that children are healthy when they sit around your table and now a recent research reveals that children and adolescents who share family meals 3 or more times per week are more likely to be in a normal weight range and have healthier dietary and eating patterns than those who share fewer than 3 family meals together. And this article points out the multiple advantages to family meals together.
Simplify your life – cut out an extracurricular activity if you have to – but make meals together a family tradition that your children will remember long after they have left home. Meal time is important, not just for the physical nourishment your children need, but also for the mental, emotional, and spiritual nurturing they need.
Here are some suggestions to help you meet those needs around your table:
Conversation starters during the meal:
- What did you enjoy doing today?
- What did you enjoy learning?
- Who did you enjoy being with today?
- Did you do something kind today?
- What was your high today?
- What was your low?
After the meal:
Do a short devotional, read a Bible story, or spend time memorizing a verse together.
Our family’s favorite thing was Playdough Devotionals. Each person would make something out of their playdough and the rest of the family would guess what part of the story they were illustrating.
Have prayer time, but before you do, ask:
- What happened today you are thankful for?
- Who did you talk to, or see, or hear about that we should pray for?
- What happened or is going to happen that we need to pray about for you?
Try to relax and enjoy time together eating a nourishing meal, talking with your children, and growing closer to God as a family. Then you can truly say, ‘Look at my healthy children around the table.’
(Oh – and don’t forget to talk about 1 Cor. 3:9 ‘We work together as partners who belong to God’ as everyone helps to clean up the kitchen when it’s all over so Mom can enjoy the time without thinking about what needs to be done afterwards.) 🙂