Cooking is a life skill your kids will be glad they have as they enter their young adult years. What if you could teach them about God at the same time you are teaching them to cook? What if you could also serve others and share your faith at the same time?
You may not have really paid much attention before, but food is mentioned a lot in the Bible. Sometimes it is part of a story. At other times it is used to describe a promise of God or for other purposes. There are so many mentions of different types of food, you could easily teach your kids kitchen skills, how to make certain recipes and cover quite a bit of scripture at the same time. You can even share the finished products with someone to serve them and your kids can share their faith as they explain why they cooked those specific foods.
Here are some foods, at least one scripture where each is mentioned and the cooking lesson you could pair with it.
- Almonds are mentioned in the story of Joseph in Genesis 43:11 and an interesting story about Aaron’s rod in Numbers 17:8. Assuming your kids aren’t allergic to nuts, you could teach them the different varieties of nuts and teach them how to shell each type. Or you could focus on the almonds and make a Jewish recipe for almond bread. Although the recipe probably doesn’t go back as far as the Bible, it is considered a historical Jewish recipe.
- Figs are mentioned in the story of Abigail and David in 1 Samuel 25:18 and in the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree that wasn’t producing figs in Mark 11:13. This ancient recipe is considered a Roman recipe (amongst others), but since
this recipe is popular in many countries in the area, it is probably similar to that for the fig cakes Abigail gave David and his men.
- Salt, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, etc. Spices are mentioned in the Bible, too. Matthew 5:13, Matthew 23:23, Numbers 11:5 and other verses mention various spices. Spices served to not only add flavor during Bible times, but in some cases helped preserve foods or slowed the growth of germs that cause food poisoning. Have your kids taste the various spices and try cooking this chicken recipe with coriander and cumin that is popular today during Passover.
- Lamb is associated with Passover and the last supper as well as numerous other stories about sheep. Try a new lamb recipe.
- Quail is from one of the more humorous stories in the Old Testament (To us, probably not so much to the Israelites!) in Exodus 16. You probably won’t see quail in the meat area of your grocery store, but the butchers in ours either keep some in the back or will order it for you.
- Locust and honey made up the diet of John the Baptist. You can find edible locusts/crickets/grasshoppers (basically the same insect) at wilderness and hiking stores or online.
- Fish were caught for a living by Peter, Andrew, James and John. Scholars think the fish was probably tilapia which, once again, your butcher can get if they don’t carry it.
- Bread was a staple and was probably either unleavened, rustic whole grain or a bread similar to pita bread today. Bread is mentioned in numerous Bible stories and a quick Google search can help you find one new to your kids. You can find lots of possible recipes online depending upon which type of bread you want to make. Remember for any Passover story, the bread would have been unleavened. Otherwise it was probably the rustic bread or the pita type bread.
There are quite a few other foods in the Bible that you can use to continue your cooking and Bible lessons, but these should give you a great start. Have fun with it. Your kids will remember the Bible stories you share while cooking even better than the ones you normally just tell them.