Last night at church, we had a special meal. I thought it might be interesting to serve the kids the types of foods that Jesus might have eaten. Now, I realize that not all of the foods are exactly historically accurate, but the point was to give them a feeling for what food might have been like in His time. We served the meal in courses, a couple of bites of each food at a time, explaining the significance of the food and telling what Bible stories we knew that related.
Fish—we were blessed to have a fisherman in the congregation donate some freshwater fish to the meal. One child in the group volunteered and told the story of the Loaves and the Fishes.
Grape Juice—well, you didn’t think we were going to serve them wine did you??? We told the story of the water turned to wine.
Cucumbers—cucumbers are mentioned in the Bible (Numbers 11:5) as having been eaten in Egypt. We reviewed the story of the Israelites being in slavery, the journey to the Promised Land, and Moses.
Dates—Date Palms are mentioned multiple times throughout the Bible, and we talked about them perhaps being like a candy bar during those times. They are packed full of natural sugars, which most of the kids really seemed to love. I was surprised when I asked about the different foods and who had eaten them before. Only our family had tried dates before, so it was a new food for almost everyone there. Love that!
Olives—A child in the group volunteered to tell the story of Noah and the Arc and how the olive branch related.
Hummus—This was the loosest connection to Biblical times. I couldn’t find any specific historical reference to hummus, though it was reported to have been eaten in Egypt, is a Kosher food, and that chickpeas were abundant in the area.
Bread—we used a flatbread, again discussing the miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes
Yogurt and honey—There are references to yogurt (not necessarily by that name, though) in documents from thousands of years ago. We talked about how our ancestors used yogurt and cheese as a food preservation tool. We talked about how honey is referenced in the Bible many times. We discussed the antibacterial qualities, how it is the only food that does not spoil, and how ancient man would use it for cuts and scrapes.
It was such a fun night, and the kids seemed to get a kick out of trying the different foods. Not all of the kids liked everything on the plate, nor would we expect them to. The point was for them to be exposed to the foods and better able to picture how life was different in those times. We had a great time, and it was well worth the effort that went into preparing the meal!