In parenting, it’s always great if you can accomplish more than one thing with the same activity. Your kids need daily exposure to the Bible. Your family needs to have family devotionals when you actively teach your kids what God wants them to know. And your kids need important life skill training in cooking. (Otherwise, they will spend way too much money on take out as young adults!) There is a fun way where you can do all three things at once.
Recently, I discovered a great book about the foods in the Bible. Carefully researched, The Foods and Feasts of Jesus by Douglas Neel and Joel Pugh is a book full of interesting information about the foods and feasts in the time of Jesus. Better yet, it contains authentic recipes you can make with your kids to teach them important cooking skills.
The authors mention various Bible stories in most chapters which you could easily find or Google for verses that mention the various foods and tell your kids the story surrounding the mention. Some of the recipes are rather unique – like making your own yogurt and cheese. Most are quite healthy as they are variations of staples in a Mediterranean diet. Older kids may enjoy some of the historical tidbits they share in the various chapters as well.
If you don’t want to purchase a book, just search online for authentic recipes from ancient Israel. Many modern Jewish recipes were heavily influenced by the Eastern European areas in which many Jewish people lived within the last few hundred years and aren’t necessarily authentic to those that would have been eaten in Bible times. Adding the words “authentic” or “ancient” to your search should help you find more authentic recipes.
As you are cooking, talk about the Bible stories that might connect to the foods you are making. Discuss the life Jesus lived every day – both the mundane and the spiritual aspects of it. Encourage your kids to talk about how life is different today and the ways it is the same. Help them think of ways they can live the spiritual part of their lives to be more like Jesus (although adopting some of his dietary habits is not a bad idea either).
Have fun with it. Gradually encourage your kids to take on age appropriate cooking tasks independently. Adding some of the favorite recipes to your regular meal rotation means they are more likely to eventually be able to cook that meal independently. It’s also a great way to add a regular family devotional time to your family’s schedule.