How Food Can Say “I Love You”

food is love when words are inadequate {Savoring JOY}

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” -Alan D. Wolfelt

Isn’t that the truth?  Sometimes words really aren’t enough.  But food can be a powerful and yet simple expression and extension of love.

I’ve been on the receiving end of meals more times than I can count.  They’ve come in celebration of our son Isaac’s birth and moving to a new home.  They came when I was on bed rest and dealing with severe morning sickness.  They came when I tore my rotator-cuff and was recovering from surgery.  Whether in times of hardship and desperate need or times of joy and celebration, the times my family has received meals are times I think of with deep gratitude.  There’s just something special and warming to the soul about having a meal prepared for you.

A neighbor of mine recently had a death in her family.  I don’t know their family well, but I know circumstances enough to know that they are grieving.  I decided to step up and be neighborly, but a sincere gift of flowers and words on a card just seemed to fall short of what I wanted them to feel.  I wanted them to feel loved.  Thought of.  Cared for. Not forgotten during this very difficult time.  I wanted them to know that even when things like this happen and things don’t make sense, that there is still something worth living for.  (Granted, only God can comfort them in ways that they are craving in this time of grief), but I just felt that there was something more I could do to assure them that they are not alone.

Memories of all the meals that had been delivered to my family over the years quickly came to mind.  I specifically remembered when a dear friend came over the weekend of my miscarriage with a bag full of groceries and prepared food for me and my husband.  She cleaned our kitchen and cooked and listened to me pour out all that I was thinking and feeling.  Her kindness didn’t make everything better, but it did significantly make me feel loved.

I know food won’t take their pain and sorrow away as they grieve, but I also know that the act of bringing food is an act of love and one that can lift and encourage their wearied hearts.

Have you ever given or received a meal? Care to share your story?


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  1. Love this article LeeAnn. I agree with you when you say certain times/experiences in life that trigger memories of food and family.

    Great Post

    • Thank you, Beau. Happy you could relate. 🙂

  2. Thanks LeeAnn for a warming shared moment. Food is the pathway to the soul, right?

    • You’re welcome, Alyson. 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by to share that moment with me.

  3. Beautiful! I love how you recognize that food doesn’t make pain disappear, but it sure does help people feel loved. Wonderful message 🙂

    • Thanks Dina!

      Yes absolutely. 🙂

  4. I have received many meals myself in similar circumstances. I especially remember my Grandma’s meals. She was Italian and an amazing cook, but it was her love that really made the meals special. It is one of the ways we nurture each other for sure!

    • Awww how sweet, Holli! What precious memories. Your grandma seems like she was a lovely woman. <3

      And you're right- it's the love behind the food- the love that created the meal- that speaks the most. Takes the pressure off trying cook something perfect, too, eh? 😉 You don't have to be a great cook to show love through food. Anyone can do this. 🙂



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