Children And Two Meals A Day Diet


Diet plays an important role in raising Christian children. Not only does it impact their health, but it also impacts their ability to make good decisions and be obedient. You must read some of these articles.

Ellen G. White Articles On Children And Diet

Two Meals A Day Plan For Children

In this key article on diet and children she shares her own testimony on adopting and testing two meals a day versus three meals per day. After experimenting she came to the conclusion that children were much more manageable when they ate two meals a day instead of three meals. In fact, she stated:

"Children reared in this way are much more easily controlled than those who are indulged in eating everything their appetite craves, and at all times. They are usually cheerful, contented, and healthy. Even the most stubborn, passionate, and wayward, have become submissive, patient, and possessed of self-control by persistently following up this order of diet, united with a firm but kind management in regard to other matters." 

Be sure to read this article about the Two Meals A Day Plan For Children

Additional Thoughts on Two Meals Per Day

As Ellen White related in the late summer of 1864 her experience in adopting health reform, she stated: {2BIO 496.1}

We use fruits and vegetables liberally. I have lived for eight months upon two meals a day. I have applied myself to writing the most of the time for above a year. For eight months have been confined closely to writing. My brain has been constantly taxed, and I have had but little exercise. Yet my health has never been better than for the past six months.—Spiritual Gifts, 4a:153, 154. {2BIO 496.2}

In succeeding years she often referred to her experience in subsisting on two meals, and she advised others to adopt the practice in such statements as the following: {2BIO 496.3}

Some eat three meals a day, when two would be more conducive to physical and spiritual health.—Testimonies for the Church, 4:416, 417. {2BIO 496.4}

The practice of eating but two meals a day is generally found a benefit to health; yet under some circumstances persons may require a third meal. This should, however, if taken at all, be very light, and of food most easily digested. “Crackers”—the english biscuit—or zwieback, and fruit, or cereal coffee, are the foods best suited for the evening meal.—The Ministry of Healing, 321. {2BIO 496.5}

In most cases two meals a day are preferable to three. Supper, when taken at an early hour, interferes with the digestion of the previous meal. When taken later, it is not itself digested before bedtime. Thus the stomach fails of securing proper rest. The sleep is disturbed, the brain and nerves are wearied, the appetite for breakfast is impaired, the whole system is unrefreshed, and is unready for the day’s duties.—Education, 205. {2BIO 496.6}

When the students combine physical and mental taxation, so largely as they do at this school (avondale), the objection to the third meal is to a great extent removed. Then no one needs to feel abused. Those who conscientiously eat only two meals need not change in this at all.... {2BIO 497.1}

If those who only eat two meals have the idea that they must eat enough at the second meal to answer for the third meal also, they will injure their digestive organs. Let the students have the third meal, prepared without vegetables, but with simple, wholesome food, such as fruit and bread.—Letter 141, 1899 (See also CDF, p. 178). {2BIO 497.2}

I eat only two meals a day. But I do not think that the number of meals should be made a test. If there are those who are better in health when eating three meals, it is their privilege to have three. I choose two meals. For thirty-five years I have practiced the two-meal system.—Letter 30, 1903 (See also CDF, p. 178). {2BIO 497.3}

W. C. White Comments

In 1930, W. C. White made the following observations: {2BIO 497.4}
You will observe as you read those statements [concerning two meals a day] that they are given as advice, not as commands. I find among Seventh-day Adventists a willingness to listen to this advice and to put it into practice where it is most helpful.... {2BIO 497.5}

There are very many of our people who are following the two-meal system with great benefit and especially those who live under circumstances where they can have a late breakfast and a dinner in the middle of the afternoon.

But most of our people who are engaged in employments where they must eat an early breakfast and a twelve o’clock dinner find it is for the benefit of their health to eat three light meals rather than two heavy ones.

For children, the three light meals are much better than the two heavy meals.... {2BIO 497.6}

As my children were growing up, we undertook to follow the two-meal system, but finding we could not time the meals as they ought to be timed, we adopted the plan of giving a light lunch at night. On this program they have grown up healthy and hearty. Their grandmother, sister E. G. White, knew of the plan we were following with our children and did not reprove us for it. I remember distinctly what Sister White used to say when the counsels in her writings were being enforced in an inappropriate way. She said, “time and circumstances must always be taken into account.”—DF535, W. C. White to R. W. Barnhurst, May 12, 1930. {2BIO 497.7}

For other E. G. White statements on the two-meal plan she followed, see Counsels on Diet and Foods, 173-178. {2BIO 498.1}

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