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Food for the family questions and activities

Michele Frankeni  |  08 September 2019

Read ‘Communion at the dinner table’in the spring 2019 edition of Australian Catholicsand take part in the following questions and activities.


  • What answer does Emilie give her husband when he questions the time she spends cooking?
  • What does Emilie mean when she says food is the centre of the Domestic Church?
  • As well as eating together, what other thing does she believe unites the family?
  • What feelings did spending time with her family at mealtimes engender in Emilie?


  1. Many families have meal traditions. When grandparents visit it may be a favourite dish. One night a week may be designated a takeaway night because of sport or after school activities. Is Sunday morning pancake day? Keep a food journal for a couple of weeks and see if there are any recognisable patterns.
  2. As a family designate a particular meal as a family meal when everyone gathers. Perhaps you can cook a meal for the family at this meal. This meal should have no distractions. Set the table, turn off the TV and put the phones down. Begin with the prayer before meals and during the meal talk with each other. It can either be about your day, or set a topic where everyone has to contribute their thoughts.
  3. Start a class poster of photos and recipes for favourite family recipes. Perhaps those recipes can be compiled into a recipe book.
  4. Organise a lunch where the students bring in one of their favourite foods.

For younger students

Read or summarise ‘Communion at the dinner table’in the spring 2019 edition of Australian Catholics. Discuss with the class how they share a family meal and the place of a prayer before meals.

1. Ask them to make a poster featuring the traditional ‘Prayer before meals, which goes: Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts
which we are about to receive from your goodness.
Through Christ our Lord.

2. Food for All

Invite the children to form groups of three or four. Explain that you will be giving a snack to each group. Pass out the snack unevenly, giving one group a large stack of crackers, two to three groups, modest stacks of crackers, and one to three groups, just one cracker.

Ask the groups how they feel about the distribution of the snacks. Ask them what would be fair and how they would distribute the snacks. Talk about how the group with the large stack may not mind that the distribution is unfair.

Collect the snacks and, using a different type of snack or new crackers, pass another snack out evenly.

Explain to the class how much better the groups are served by the fair distribution of snacks, and draw parallels with the rest of the world.

Talk about ways in which our world suffers because of the uneven distribution of material goods. Discuss ways we can help those in need.

Hints: Make sure the snack is something the children ordinarily wouldn't care about so that no one gets too upset.

Image: Getty Images


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