Mealtime Blessings for Families

I’m excited to share with you here the beautiful ritual of mealtime blessings for families! You’ll find out why and how to add this simple rhythm to your day and hear some of my family’s favorite mealtime blessings.

Mealtimes are one of the easiest places to add rhythm to your daily family life.

I speak often about how our children have less stress when they know what to expect and when they feel safe and secure and held. The power of daily rhythms and routines is that they carry us all through the day. We can flow from one activity to the next with ease.

So when you want to add more rhythm, start right here with mealtime blessings.

Sometimes life gets a little bit out of sync. Let’s just acknowledge that right now!

As this episode of the podcast airs, it’s the first week in January, right after the holidays, and the start of a brand new year. Many of us are trying to get back into the groove of our daily rhythm. And mealtimes can be a great starting point.

Mealtimes can be anchor points throughout the day because meals are a time when we come together and connect. We go our separate ways but then we come back together to discover the shelter of each other.

Anchor points like mealtimes or bedtime are a great place to start after the holidays, at the end of summer, or after a crazy season of life. We can acknowledge and honor these anchor points with a blessing.

The first time I heard about the concept of anchor points throughout our days was when I read Kim John Payne’s book, Simplicity Parenting. Don’t feel like this needs to take a lot of effort or planning. Keep it simple and just find a few favorite blessings to add to your day.

“Relationships are often built in the intervals, the spaces between activities, when nothing much is going on.” ~Kim John Payne

Focus on connection, not perfection, during these intervals and anchors points throughout your day. Start with something small. A mealtime blessing ritual can be remarkably powerful.

The Ritual of Family Dinner

Family dinner is so more than a meal! It’s a time to come together, to share and connect and strengthen family bonds. There’s even research that the more often families eat together, the more likely it is that children will eat healthy foods and the less likely they will be to smoke, drink, do drugs or suffer from depression. Pretty compelling, I’d say.

Check out the The Family Dinner project if you want to dig into this deeper.

Now I know in reality, mealtimes are not always peaceful! But adding in a simple ritual like a mealtime blessing can really help.

Here are some ideas to create a family dinner ritual at your house:

  • Create a special atmosphere such as a tablecloth, a candle, flowers, or a center piece
  • Have everyone pitching in to help a bit with the meal
  • Start with a blessing and learn it by heart over time

In my family, we started mealtime blessings when my children were fairly young. Sometimes, we’d light a candle and pause. Then we would take hands, close our eyes, and recite or sing.

I remember some nights when life seemed particularly chaotic or the kids were out of sorts, I would think it was ridiculous to try to pull off a mealtime blessing. But then I’d do it, and we’d have just a moment of peace!

And now all those years later, my grown kids still gather ‘round the table and say a blessing all together holding hands. I know it was worth the effort I made to keep this ritual going all through the years.

Mealtime Blessings

When my kids were younger, this was our favorite blessing:

Earth that gives to us this food
Sun that makes it ripe and good
Dear Earth, Dear Sun, by whom we live
Our loving thanks to you we give.

And then as they grew, this became our favorite and is still our go-to blessing to this day:

God, we thank you for this food,
For rest and home and all things good.
For wind and rain and sun above
And most of all, for those we love.

And here’s a little extra bonus for you, a recording of one of our favorite blessing songs.

Give Thanks to the Mother Gaia

A Simple Ritual That Grows with Your Family

Blessing our food with a favorite mealtime verse or song before we eat can become a cherished everyday tradition in so many ways. And not just for children. Blessing our food is just as meaningful for adults too.

This simple ritual gives us a moment to calm our minds and pause before we eat. We quiet our thoughts and turn inward. This is a great way to be more mindful of what we eat and how we eat, to think about where our food comes from, and to be grateful.

So keep it simple. Recite a poem, sing a song, say a blessing. No matter your spiritual or religious beliefs, this is a lovely time to just get quiet for a moment and feel a sense of gratitude.

Mealtime Blessing for You!

Here’s where you’ll find your free printable with four beautiful blessings for your family mealtimes, including the song I shared here.

One last idea for your family mealtime is a sweet sharing ritual called Rose, Thorn, Bud. In our family, we did this once a week, not every night. But some families enjoy this daily. You get to decide for your family!

The way Rose, Thorn, Bud works is that each person shares something good thing from their day or week first. This is the rose. Next you share something challenging: this is the thorn. And then you share something you’re looking forward to tomorrow or next week, the bud.

Or, you could simply just invite each person to share a favorite thing from their day.

There are so many simple ways to add rhythm and ritual to your family mealtimes. Enjoy exploring these ideas.

Many blessings to you and your family!

More to Explore

The Family Dinner Project

A Grateful Heart, Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to the The Beatles edited by M. J. Ryan

Seven Times the Sun: Guiding Your Child Through the Rhythms of the Day by Shea Darian

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When life gets wonky, family rhythm and rituals can ground us, especially family mealtimes. I'd love to share with you some mealtime blessings for families.

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