One of my favorite memories from mealtimes as a child was the blessing. I can still remember the rhyming thanks to God that started each meal. We would all
bow our heads and fold our hands as we said a small prayer that showed our gratitude for the day’s blessings. Now as a mom to small children, that blessing is one of the best slow moments of our day. My children have their small chubby hands (and usually sticky fingers) clenched into small folded prayer hands. They have their heads bowed and are all saying a rhyming prayer together as their baby sister looks on from her high chair with wide eyes at the moment. And then someone starts the prayer in their opera voice. Or Pig Latin. It happens. Life with four kids 7 and under brings surprises and chaos. During blessing time is no exception. We just start over and try again!
Mealtime Blessings for Families of small children
The routine of a meal time blessing is a blessing in itself to a family of any size. It can signal the start of a meal and a time to slow down from the chaos
a family brings. Saying a blessing at meals is a time to focus on the gifts from God: each other, the food, events from the day. Having a palpable moment of quiet (usually!) during a blessing prayer is a calming moment and
a signal to regroup as a family together around a meal. Even the smallest children can recognize the moment. A mealtime blessing is a time to express gratitude. And when those sweet little
children that are the biggest blessing of all are saying their prayer, this mama just has to sneak a look up and express her gratitude too. Until a glass of milk spills.
Rhyming Prayers to Say before Meals
Growing up, my family said our blessing at each dinner meal until we were much older than preschool age. I’m sure that is why it’s stuck with me for so long. These are blessing prayers that can stay with a family for a lifetime. These blessings are prayers that we’ve either said as a child or my kids have learned through their preschool class. They are now part of our meal!
Family Blessings to say before a meal
God is Great
God is great,
God is good.
And I thank Him for our food.
Johnny Appleseed (This is one from my son’s preschool class)
Oh, the Lord’s been good to me.
And so I thank the Lord,
For giving me the things I need.
The sun and the rain
and the appleseed.
The Lord’s been good to me.
Thank You God (said to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
Thank you God
for Food and prayer.
Teach us how to love and share.