Bible study: Traditions and customs concerning our food

Christian PerspectiveChristian Perspective

Traditions and customs concerning our food

All cultures develop a variety of traditional beliefs and customs concerning food. Sometimes there are foods that people eat at special festivals. Some foods may be avoided on particular days. Foods which are avoided in one culture may be valued in an-other. Most of these beliefs have little impact on nutrition but there are some that have a considerable impact. For example, in many cultures pregnant or nursing women are not supposed to eat eggs – which are a very nutritious food. Children likewise may be prevented from eating foods which would be of real nutrit-ional benefit.

Read I Samuel 21:1-6

  • Why did the priest give David the consecrated bread?

David knew that according to religious custom he should not have eaten this bread. But without it, he and his men would not have had the strength to continue their mission.

Read Acts 10:9-16

  • Why did Peter refuse to kill and eat the animals and birds shown to him?
  • What was God’s answer to Peter?

The Jewish tradition considered certain foods unclean and for Paul these taboos were part of his life. But then God challenged him on this. God is able to make all things clean and to change people’s way of thinking.

  • What customs, traditions and taboos do you have in your own culture concerning food?
  • Are any of them unhelpful and damaging to good nutrition?
  • Should some of the taboos be challenged and if so, how could this be done sensitively?

God is our father and we are his children, to whom he gives good gifts. As we read in Luke 11:11-13, God freely gives his Holy Spirit and his gifts to us. He encourages us to provide good nutritious food to our children.