The Ministry of Food Preparation
Often times I meet or receive an email from a mother who has a whole new set of complications in mothering...food allergies and intolerances. These mamas are already putting forth so much to provide well-balance to their child.
Cooking foods, which meet a specified diet can often serve as the last straw. This is especially true for the mom who already struggles in the kitchen, let alone the added decoding of unknown ingredients.
My friend, who is a doer with the most beautiful servant's heart, told me how in this season her job is to learn how cook for her boy who is suffering from food allergies. She confessed how this meal preparation is her ministry focus, and needed to say no to other valuable ministry opportunities, in order to invest in her boy while she is discovering new ways to cook from scratch.
I applauded her heart tuning into this very real, very spiritual work, and as we talked I sensed that often times this job is overlooked as a ministry.
If you are this mom, whether through your child's newly discovered food diagnosis (allergy), or you are wanting to invest in your child's health by providing nutrient dense foods, your ministry of food is beyond beneficial.
What you do in your home through researching products to preparing everything from scratch is powerful and tiring. It might not be seen by others, but your ministry of food preparation and cooking is holy work. It's Kingdom work, even if you're not winning temporal accolades. I want you to know I understand and this kitchen work does not go unnoticed.
What I do know is this: My family's health is very important to me, and the food we share together adds life. On the whole, we do better as a family when we limit our sugars, eat protein, fat & limited carb and of course, eat together on a regular basis. This ministry of food, is just as much an investment into my family's spiritual account as is reading quality books or attending church on Sunday.
Our family life breeds outside life, so I've begun to say "graces" during the meal prep, "God have mercy on me. Have mercy on my family, this meal. Thank you for reminding me of your gift through this food."
As we say grace to remind us of our need to rely on the sustainer of life, may I also add a couple tips to help you along this food journey.
1. Simple Meals
There is no need to over think meals. Cook up large dinners, which provide for leftover lunches. I have eggs every weekday for breakfast. In the beginning of cooking a new way, give yourself permission to be mundane. Julia Child didn't start out making boeuf bourginan.
2. One New Item at a Time
You read about fermentation, making condiments from scratch, and wonder how anyone does it all. Truth is...they don't. If you're brand new to cooking from scratch, work on your roasting vegetables; rather, than cooking one vegetable a variety of ways. You can roast brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, turnips, beets, and more.
3. Picky Eaters
If your child is older and you're working backwards to remove well known food from their diet, you might already feel defeated. Know that a person needs to try something seven times before forming a food opinion. Focus more on the meal and offering of food than the possible battle. Try serving meals ala carte where they dish up the various sides (like taco salad: chopped tomatoes, lettuce and avocados.)
If you have been immersed in this ministry, share below what you have found to be helpful for you and your family. If you're new, please share how I can pray and practically encourage you.
Grace be to you!