Beautiful and Fun Ways to Say Grace
When I sit down to a meal, it sometimes feels like there’s something missing if I don’t give a word of thanks for the food I'm eating. I’m not religious so I don’t say a typical grace. I was introduced to a traditional food blessing and our family has incorporated it into our dinner routine. My children both know it by heart and it gladdens me that we have a way of saying thank you for the food.
Here are three of my favourite ways to give thanks for all that goes with eating:
1. A Traditional Meal Blessing
By Alice C. Henderson
The silver rain, the golden sun,
The fields where scarlet poppies run,
And all the rustling of the wheat,
Is in the food that we shall eat.
And so with grateful heart I feel,
When I sit down to every meal
That I am eating rain and sun,
And fields where scarlet poppies run.
2. Give thanks for the food in other languages.
Unlike many other languages, English doesn't have a short, commonly used phrase to start a meal with. In other countries you automatically say a few words to start the meal. Once you've spent some time in a country saying 'Buen Provecho' or 'Bon Appetit' before your meal you'll notice a kind of empty feeling as you launch into your food without a few words. So, what can we do? Let's use one of those phrases.
Here are some of my favourites:
In Japan, you say "itadakimasu" ("I gratefully receive") before eating.
"Itadakimasu" comes from Japan's roots in buddhism, which teaches respect for all living things. This thinking extends to mealtime in the form of thanks to the plants, animals, farmers, hunters, chefs, and everything that went into the meal.
In French you can say ‘Bon Appetit’ and in Spanish ‘Buen Provecho’, in Italian ‘Buon Appetito’, in German ‘Guten Appetit’.
That should give you some good options to get started with.
3. Try this poem and follow it up with a quick “Bon Appetit” to kickstart a fun family meal.
Peanut Butter Sandwich
By Shel Silverstein
I'll sing you a poem of a silly young king
Who played with the world at the end of a string,
But he only loved one single thing—
And that was just a peanut-butter sandwich.
His scepter and his royal gowns,
His regal throne and golden crowns
Were brown and sticky from the mounds
And drippings from each peanut-butter sandwich.
His subjects all were silly fools
For he had passed a royal rule
That all that they could learn in school
Was how to make a peanut-butter sandwich.
He would not eat his sovereign steak,
He scorned his soup and kingly cake,
And told his courtly cook to bake
An extra-sticky peanut-butter sandwich.
And then one day he took a bit
And started chewing with delight,
But found his mouth was stuck quite tight
From that last bite of peanut-butter sandwich.
His brother pulled, his sister pried,
The wizard pushed, his mother cried,
'My boy's committed suicide
From eating his last peanut-butter sandwich!'
The dentist came, and the royal doc.
The royal plumber banged and knocked,
But still those jaws stayed tightly locked.
Oh darn that sticky peanut-butter sandwich!
The carpenter, he tried with pliers,
The telephone man tried with wires,
The firemen, they tried with fire,
But couldn't melt that peanut-butter sandwich.
With ropes and pulleys, drills and coil,
With steam and lubricating oil—
For twenty years of tears and toil—
They fought that awful peanut-butter sandwich.
Then all his royal subjects came.
They hooked his jaws with grapplin' chains
And pulled both ways with might and main
Against that stubborn peanut-butter sandwich.
Each man and woman, girl and boy
Put down their ploughs and pots and toys
And pulled until kerack! Oh, joy—
They broke right through that peanut-butter sandwich
A puff of dust, a screech, a squeak—
The king's jaw opened with a creak.
And then in voice so faint and weak—
The first words that they heard him speak
Were, 'How about a peanut-butter sandwich?'
How do you give thanks for your food? Let me know in the comments below!