A Healthy Third Meal

Ellen G. White

Mrs. White strongly advocated eating only two meals per day, and speaks of having done this for more than 35 years. I think she even spoke of going on for more than 40 years with such a plan. Not everyone agreed, and in fact the parents at one of the schools where such a plan had been adopted felt the plan was extreme. Ellen White was warned of what was going on and suggested a modified plan that took the local circumstances into account. The following comes from a letter she wrote the leaders there.

A Healthy Third Meal Of Fruit And Bread

"As the matter now stands, the impression is upon many minds that the diet question is being carried to extremes. When students combine physical and mental taxation, so largely as they do at this school, 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 allBut when we have to prepare the third meal for different ones among our ministers, and for the president of the General Conference, it does not seem consistent to limit the students to only two meals. The statement need not be made that the third meal is limited as regards material, but this meal should be simple. {Lt 141, 1899, par. 3}

The fact that some teachers and students have the privilege of eating in their rooms is not creating a healthful influence. There must be harmonious action in the conducting of meals. 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 organsLet the students have the third meal, prepared without vegetables, but with simple, wholesome food, such as fruit and bread. Then the controversy will be ended. Then the removal of the vexed question, which keeps the minds of some fathers and mothers in a condition of distressed sympathy for their children, although these children are gaining flesh all the time, will remove a serious objection to the school. {Lt 141, 1899, par. 4}

Further Helpful Information On The Quantity Of Food Needed

Notice that Mrs. White advocated a lighter and simpler third meal at the end of the day if it was needed. One of the key points is her strong admonition that too much was generally eaten and that it was not necessary to eat extra in the two meals to make up for the loss of the third meal. Notice the following written to her son Edson:

"I am glad that you are feeling the importance of health reform. I realize that it pays to live health reform strictly, and it pays to have only two meals a day as far as health is concerned. This is all our wants require, and more than this is a tax to the system. When we see persons ailing and those who have acute attacks of fever, we know that all is not right. Nature does not make her protests for nothing. Her powers have been abused." 2LtMs, Lt 51a, 1874, par. 1

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