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Cooking Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Teaching the Story of Ruth in Sunday School.

Post your cooking lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for teaching the Story of Ruth in Sunday School.

Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, Moabite, whither thou goest, etc.
Bible lessons about Ruth -with Cooking, Food, Bible Foods, Recipes, Baking, Preparation, etc
Use the "Post Reply" button below to post your cooking lessons for teaching the Story of Ruth in Sunday School.

Don't forget to check out our Writing Team's "Story of Ruth" Lesson Set. It has a very "Tasty" Cooking Workshop lesson in it!

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Two Cooking Ideas for the story of Ruth


I know "bread" projects in the Cooking Workshop are over-done, but Ruth and Naomi WERE gleaning grains in Boaz' field.

We tried grinding flour for a "daily bread" lesson in rotation last year and thought it was too time consuming. The grinding equipment is scarce too.

After we did the lesson I thought we had missed a golden opportunity.

We should have created a "sourdough starter"  which can be used to leaven a loaf you make at home and "share" forward the flavors. A 'starter' is a "source'.  Lots of good metaphor there to work with!


Using re-usable grocery bags, decorate them with the message of Ruth, and the idea of "GLEANING"  ...with the idea that members would "glean" from their pantries and bring back the Ruth & Naomi Bags for a food drive.   (You could put some sourdough starter in the bags to go home.)


You can order blank grocery bags online very cheap.



A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Three Breads for the Story of Ruth

Barley Bread
We will be doing Ruth in June, and in searching for a barley recipe that I thought the kids would actually eat  and one that could be done in the amount of time we have,

I read that barley flour can usually be substituted for all purpose flour in most recipes. It is not as "heavy" as wheat flour. As a test, I made the standard "baking powder biscuit" recipe from my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, and instead of using 2 cups of all purpose flour, I used 1 cup and also 1 cup of barley flour (recipe below). This type of biscuit is a bit on the dry side, so I plan to serve with honey. I plan to give each child a piece to knead, hence my adaptions noted in the recipe.

I also bought a bag of pearled barley that I plan on letting them run their hands through so they can see what the grain looks like.

Barley Biscuits

1 cup barley flour (adaption)
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening
¾ cup milk

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in shortening till crumbly.

Make a well and add milk to well all at once.

Stir quickly with fork just till dough follows fork around bowl. Dough should be soft.

ADAPTION: Divide into 10 pieces, golf ball size. Give each child one piece.

Turn onto lightly floured surface. Knead 10-12 strokes. Pat dough to ½ inch thick.

Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 450 for about 12 minutes.

Unleavened Bread

We spent last summer with Moses, from birth through 10 commandments. On the last Sunday we focused on the Lord's Supper and showed it's connection to the Passover reenactment we previously did. We made and ate flat bread. Also made extra which we then served the following Sunday for communion both at our church and to those of us who went to family camp that same weekend (a neat connection piece). Here's that recipe -- I don't know the original source because it was passed along to me:

Unleavened Bread

5/8 c. white flour
3/4 c. wheat flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 C and 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 C. honey
1/4 C and 1 Tbsp. hot water

Combine dry ingredients, then add oil, honey and water.

Roll out dough on a cookie sheet to about an 8" x 12" piece. (The flatter the piece, the flatter the bread)

Use knife to score dough into square pieces about 1" x 1". Do not cut completely through the dough.

Bake at 350 deg. until there are no more dark (wet) areas visible and edges are slightly brown, approx. 5-10 minutes.

Let sit and cool enough to handle and remove from pan.

The honey gives the bread a little sweetness, and our kids really liked it.

Hope this helps anyone who's wading through dough! smile


Say: Do you have photo albums at home? The pictures remind us of people. They aren’t the actual people, but they’re reminders of what they’re like. The book of Ruth is like a photo album of - Jesus - not really him but a picture of the One who would come to redeem us!

Ask: Have you ever heard Jesus called the Redeemer?

Let’s talk about the word redeem -- do you know what it means? [Redeem means buy back, ransom, reclaim.]
Who was the Redeemer in the story of Ruth? [Boaz]
Why? [He married Ruth and gave her a home, he saved her from a bad life.]

Let’s look at a comparison of the story of Ruth and Jesus. I’ll read the things Boaz did and you try to think of a comparison of what Jesus did for us [read each in a back and forth format]:

Ruth washed and perfumed herself in preparation to meet her Redeemer. What’s the comparison to Jesus? [We are washed in Jesus’ blood and we are to be a sweet fragrant offering for him.]

Ruth told Boaz she would be his servant. [Us: Jesus wants us to be servants for him.]

Boaz: went to the city gates and he interceded on behalf of Ruth He bought and paid for her redemption. [Jesus: Our Savior left heaven. He bought and paid for our redemption. Daily he intercedes in our behalf before the throne of God.]

Boaz told Ruth to not be afraid, that he would take care of her. [Jesus tells us to not be afraid because he takes care of us.]

In order for Boaz to marry Ruth he had to overcome obstacles in his way [Jesus overcame all obstacles, even death, to be our Redeemer.]

Ruth was a foreigner, yet Boaz accepted her. [We were lost but Jesus found us and adopted us into his family.]

Boaz and Ruth were soon blessed with a child. That child would redeem Naomi from her status as the poor widow left alone. [Later in that same family lineage another Child would be born. This Child would come to redeem as many as would received him. ]

A reply provided by Jan Hanson from First Presbyterian Church Napa, CA, USA

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Make a Millstone- Kids grind Barley

I made a millstone that the kids tried to grind barley with. You could not use this ground barley in a recipe as it has alot of the "millstone" ground up in it, too, but they could try it for awhile to see how hard it was to grind flour, then go on and use already ground stuff for the cooking part.

I found this in one of those "Life in Bible Times" books from Educational Ministries.

  • Take 2 round patio blocks.
  • Using a large masonry bit and an electric drill, drill a hole through the center of both.
  • Then on one (which will be the top one) drill 2 holes part way through the block, across from one another.
  • Put that one on top of the other.
  • Put a dowel stick through the 2 center holes to hold them together, and put short dowels in the other holes-these are the handles to turn the top stone.
  • Put the barley between the 2 stones, place the top one on, and grind by holding the 2 "handles" and turning. A lot of work! smile

Luanne Payne's modifications:

  • we borrowed ours from another church and a gentleman in their congregation made it.
  • It appears they used 2 Red Concrete Round Patio Stones (approx. 12" diameter).
  • the bottom stone the dowel was permanently placed in center of stone.  The dowel was thick.
  • the top stone had a hole in it's center, and you lowered onto the bottom stone going over the center dowel (you saw approx. an inch of the dowel showing above the top stone).
  • the top stone also had a dowel permanently inserted close to the edge and was tall enough the kids could grip it well in one hand to turn it.
  • worked really well!
  • Only thing I'd do different next time is have it sitting on a dark fabric so when we separated the two stones and swept off the ground grain we could see it better, what little they got for all their effort (rather than on the light carpet).



Images (1)
  • Hampton
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Friendship Soup Mix in a Jar

Your friends and family will love you for this! A soup Mix in a jar recipe you can give out as gifts! Prep Time:  Approx. 30 Minutes.

Cook Time: approx. 1 Hour.

Ready in:  approx. 1 Hour 30 Minutes.

Makes 16 servings.


1/2 cup dry split peas
1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup dried onion flakes 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain
white rice
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup uncooked alphabet pasta


  1. In a 1 1/2 pint jar, layer the split peas, bouillon, barley, lentils, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, rice, and bay leaves.
  2. Wrap the pasta in plastic wrap, and place in the jar.
  3. Seal tightly.
  4. Attach a label to the jar with the following:

Friendship Soup Instructions


1 pound ground beef, black pepper to taste, garlic powder to taste, 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes - undrained, 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste, and 3 quarts water.


Remove pasta from top of jar, and set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef with pepper and garlic; drain excess fat.

Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and soup mix. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.

Cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Stir in the pasta, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta, peas, lentils and barley are tender.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Note from the Editor:

This lesson has the students baking an "act of kindness" which imitates Naomi and Ruth's spirit.  You can use the lesson "as is" making animal treats, or change the recipe to make cookies for a local homeless shelter.

Prior to using this lesson, contact your local Dog Rescue center and ask them if your class can make them "dog treats."  Share your recipe and goal. Your second activity will be to hear the story of Ruth, which is a story about a rich man helping to take care of a poor foreign widow.

You’ll read the story while the treats are baking.

Alternately, you can bake cookies for a local homeless shelter. (Recipe not include in this lesson.)


Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

In this class, children will hear the story of Ruth from a storybook and then will make dog treats to give to a local animal shelter.

Supplies List:

  • Baking sheets
  • Paper plates
  • bowls
  • spoons
  • spatulas
  • corn oil
  • peanut butter
  • whole wheat flour
  • white flour
  • water
  • measuring cups and spoons

Leader Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350º by the beginning of Sunday School Opening so it will be hot in time for your baking.
  • Locate the baking sheets, mixing bowls and paper plates, and spoons. 
  • Gather the ingredients. 
  • Read the book of Ruth


Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Welcome the children and ask them to sit down. The children have just prayed in Opening, but you are welcome to lead them in a prayer yourself.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Cooking Activity:
1. Vary your discussion depending on whether it is the first week or a subsequent week of the rotation. On the first Sunday, you’ll need to give more information. On subsequent Sundays, you can ask the children to review the story of Ruth. 

2. Ask the children whom we should be helping in our time. Answers will vary: poor people, people in wars, people who are sick, animals that are sick or homeless.

3. Explain that today you will be doing two things. First, you will be making dog treats to give to the dogs at a local animal shelter. Talk to the children about why dogs are in the shelter in the first place. Some of the children may have adopted a dog or cat from a shelter and you can discuss that. 

4. Ask why it is important to help animals (they are God’s creatures just as we are, they are defenseless against humans, we are supposed to care for creation, animals are hungry and need food.)

5. Explain that your second activity will be to hear the story of Ruth, which is a story about a rich man helping to take care of a poor foreign widow. Explain that you’ll read the story while the treats are baking.

6. Make a double recipe from the recipe below and ask the children to help add the different ingredients. Give everyone a chance to help mix the ingredients.

7. Give each child some of the dough on a paper plate. Children should make several dog treats from their dough. They can mold the dough into different shapes: balls, flat, bone shaped, etc.

8. Bake the treats while you read the story to the children.

Peanut Butter Treats
2 tablespoons corn oil 
½ cup peanut butter 
1 cup water 
1 cup whole wheat flour 
2 cups white flour

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine oil, peanut butter and water. Add Flour 1 cup at a time, then knead into firm dough. Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut with small bone shaped cookie cutter. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Makes 2½ dozen.

Recipe from The Doggy Bone Cookbook, Second Edition, by Michelle Bledsoe, illustrated by Kelly Schaefer and James Walton. (Come and Get It Publishing, 2004).

Recipe first found on the website “Linus and Lucy’s Playground.”  (link removed as site appears to be discontinued)

The story:
1. While your treats are baking, first show the children where the story of Ruth is found in the Bible. (If it’s the second or a subsequent week, you can ask the children if they can show you where the story is found in the Bible.) Read the story of Ruth from the book Ruth and Naomi, written and illustrated by Jean Marzollo (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2005.)

2. Especially during the first week, it will be important to explain some of the concepts that the children should be listening for as you tell them the story. You can do this at first, or during stopping points during the story, or at the end.

  • Explain why Elimelech and his family needed to go to Moab at first.
  • Explain why Naomi felt she needed to return to Israel.
  • Explain why it’s such a big deal for Ruth to stay with Naomi.
  • Explain the concept of “gleaning”—what it means and why it was commanded.
  • Talk about the concept of caring for the outcast and the poor and the foreigner.

3. Answer any questions the children have.

4. Make sure that the children understand the connection between your activity and the story of Ruth: Boaz helped Ruth by letting her gather leftover grain in his field even though she was poor and a foreigner. She was hungry and needed help and he helped her, just as God wanted. We are helping animals that are hungry and maybe sick and need homes, just as Boaz helped Ruth and Naomi.

5. Talk about the similarity between God’s Covenant with us and Ruth’s covenant with Naomi. Can we see God keeping His promises in the story of Ruth?


1. Take the treats out of the oven and let them cool. 

2. Ask the children to help you clean up.

3. If time, for a follow-up discussion, brainstorm some other ways children could help others: animals, friends, and even those who aren’t friends. 

4. Feel free to bring in a snack to share with the children.

5. Close with prayer.

6. Ask the guide to return with the children to Fellowship Hall to meet their parents.


A lesson posted by member Susanna

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

The Story of Ruth

Cooking Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activity:

Our mission project involves taking care of those who may not have enough, good food to eat. We are going to make gift jars filled with all the ingredients someone would need to make a nice healthy soup. Cards will also be made to go with each gift jar.


Scripture Reference:

Ruth chapters 1 - 4


Key Verse:  ”Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good” Titus 3:1 (NIV)


Workshop Objectives

  • Learn about the recipient of our mission project.
  • Discuss the idea of being obedient to those in authority.
  • Discuss the idea of being “ready to do whatever is good”—a part of our memory verse.


Leader Preparation:

  • Review Background notes.
  • Gather Materials.

Materials List:

  • Bibles
  • Children’s Bible
  • Copy of memory verse written large
  • Clean 16 ounce/pint jars -- run them through a dishwasher just before class, to “sterilize” them
  • Clean newspaper or table coverings
  • Food handling gloves for the students touching food products (one per student)
  • Hats or head kerchiefs (one per student)
  • Ingredients for the jars -- this will depend on your recipe
  • Pre-printed labels for jars
  • Bowls to hold the ingredients before they are measured out
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 6 inch squares of fabric or colorful tissue paper (to decorate the lids)
  • Ribbon, scissors
  • Paper, crayons or markers, stickers and any other items to decorate cards for the gift recipients
  • Hole punch
  • Recipe for soup creation & ingredients list - print this recipe/ingredient list on a sticker that can be applied to the cards the students will be making (one per jar created)
  • CD player and Christian music (Optional)


Advance Preparation:

  • Put a notice in the church bulletin asking the congregation for clean, quart-sized   jars (with labels removed).
  • Determine recipe to make for soup.
  • Determine how many jars we want to make, so that we know how many of each ingredient to buy.
  • Create stickers with an ingredient list, as well as instructions for how the gift-recepient is to make the soup.
  • Pre-print labels for the jars (include info on how made this gift)
  • Cut the squares of fabric (or tissue) to decorate the lids (suggestion: use pinking shears for fabric).
  • Decide how you will make adjustments for the different ages.


Before the Start of Class:

  • Set up the various stations to fill the gift jars. Cover tables with clean newspaper or table coverings.
  • Set up the "stations" to fill the jars. There should be one station for each ingredient. Put the ingredient stations in the order that you want them layered in the jars. (Think about the visual appeal of your finished jar, in determining the order of ingredients.)
  • Place ingredients for a particular station in a large bowl. Provide the appropriate sized measuring cup for that station. (Depends on your recipe.) There should also be a station to put the labels on the jars. If you have enough students, you may wish to have a station for "card" creation and a station to cover the lid with fabric and tie it on with the ribbon, also attaching the card.
  • Have several adults around to help supervise the stations.
  • Make sure the students wash their hands when they enter the classroom.





Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction


Introduce yourself to the students.

Open with a prayer.

Leader's Note: We would like to have a consistent opening and closing to each class, especially since the teacher and workshop children attend changes each week. Please start the class by having everyone make the sign of the cross and say: “We make our beginning in the name of God the Father—and God the Son—and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Dig: Main content and Reflection

Introduction & Bible Story:

Our story for this month has been the story of Ruth. We will find out soon how it ties in to our Sunday School mission project.

Read the story of Ruth from one of our Children’s Bibles. If the story is happening later in the month, you could show the students the pictures from the Children’s Bible and have them tell you the story.


Make sure to touch on why Naomi and her family went from Bethlehem to Moab;

  • the marriages and deaths in Moab;
  • Ruth insisting that she go back to Bethlehem with Naomi;
  • Ruth gleaning in the fields;
  • Boaz acting as their kinsman-redeemer and marrying Ruth.

Why did Naomi and her husband and sons travel to Moab? (there was a famine in Bethlehem and they went to Moab to find food). The shortage of food comes in to play later in the story as well.

When Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem, there was no husband to provide for them. So Ruth went out to glean in the fields. Gleaning had something to do with harvest-time. One of God’s laws said that the people harvesting the fields should not go back to pick what they had missed. This leftover grain was to be left for those less fortunate to collect—the poor, the widows, orphans, etc. Ruth and Naomi qualified for this since they were both widows.

Our mission project involves taking care of those who may not have enough good food to eat. We are going to make gift jars filled with all the ingredients someone would need to make a nice healthy soup. All they have to do is add boiling water.


Give the students some information on the agency that we will be giving the soup jars to for their clients.

Activities: Create Gift Jars - Ruth and Boaz: “ready to do whatever is good”

Start the “assembly line.”

  • Assign one or two students (depending on class size and number of stations) to each station.
  • The students should put on the plastic gloves before they start handling the food.
  • Tell the students that we are trying to put the ingredients into the jars in layers, so they should not stir or shake the jars as they filling them or handing them to the next station.
  • If you would like, you could have a Christian CD playing in the background.

Making cards

Make cards for the people that will be receiving the gift jars. Supply them with paper, crayons, markers, stickers, etc. (The early-arrivers could do this while waiting for class to start; it could also be done if you have time left over at the end.) Hole punch these cards and attach them to the lid with the ribbon.



Review the memory verse: "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good." Titus 3:1

In our story, Ruth was obedient to her mother-in-law Naomi; and Boaz was obedient to the Jewish laws about taking care of his family members.


How were Ruth and Boaz “ready to do whatever is good”?

How are you obedient to those in charge of you?

How are you “ready to do whatever is good”? (hopefully, someone will mention the mission project).


Closing Prayer:

We would like to have a consistent opening and closing to each class, especially since the teacher and station changes each week. Please end the class with the benediction from Numbers 6: 24-26 (CEV). Make the sign of the cross and say:
I pray that the LORD will bless and protect you, and that He will show you mercy and kindness. May the LORD be good to you and give you peace. Amen.

Age Adaptations


Older students: May need to help younger students in the assembly line.

Younger students: Some of the students may need help with the assembly line.

PreSchool students: May need to pair them up with an older child or adult during the assembly line of ingredients.



Workshop Review by Cathy: 


When we did this workshop we made 48 jars, which took about 30 minutes to do.  We had the younger students (preschool up to early primary grades) sit at the table and spoon out the ingredients. Some of the older students went down the line holding the jar while the younger students put their ingredients in. Some of the other older students put the labels on and put the lids on.

Our jars were filled with rice and various herbs and dried vegetables, to make a rice dish (our recipe had 8 or 9 ingredients). We wanted something with a grain-type food to fit in with the gleaning part of the story.

I was so pleased with how the kids did. We had several 3 and 4 year olds, and some older kids with special needs/trouble staying focused. They sat at their spots and patiently dished out ingredients for the 48 jars.



A lesson written by Cathy Walz from: St. John Lutheran Church 

Forest Park, IL



A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

The following notes came from a Cooking Workshop brainstorming session by our Writing Team. The Writing Team's Cooking Workshop lesson can be found at Their lesson walks through the story using different foods and tastes at various points in the storytelling and reflection.

Food Factors in the Story of Ruth

Grain is mentioned 5 times:;begin=8&end=8

Bread 1 time, at a meal, with vinegar and roasted grain

Quite literally, bread in the House of Bread (Beth= house, lehem = bread)
Wine Vinegar?  The Hebrew doesn't use the word "wine" like the NIV does but vinegar was the result of wine that had turned sour. it was the "kho'-mets"  (literally: sour and red). It's pretty common to put both oil and vinegar on bread, so maybe there was olive oil involved too.

Ruth 2:14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over.

Notice that she specifically doesn't sit with Boaz, which seems confirmation of his generous intention, and not an overt romantic invite.

There's a super-interesting article about "roasted grain" and the threshing floor at
The person who participated in the threshing and roasting describes the roasted grain as a sort of      She says that ripe wheat grains are inedible and that's why they need roasted, but I've eaten wheat grains straight from a combine and they are chewy and tasty on their own. Perhaps this was due to the variety of wheat or barley grown "back in the day."  "Green" wheat (early wheat) is considered more edible. Recall that Jesus and his disciples picked and ate wheat on the Sabbath.

Apparently roasting grain is part of the threshing floor process, maintaining fires and keeping the wheat moving, etc. (meaning Boaz probably wasn't getting much sleep when Ruth showed up).  Roasted grain was ground and used in soups! Who knew?

We use it in cereals. GRAPE NUTS CEREAL is a close approximation to roasted and coarse ground wheat grains. (No grapes in it, just wheat and barley).

Water is mentioned once:

Ruth 2:9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”

Drawing water is typically the job of foreigners and women (Joshua 9:21; Genesis 24:11, 13; 1 Samuel 9:11). That she will drink water drawn by Israelite men is another sign of honor that he is bestowing upon Ruth for her faithfulness to his kinswoman.

Aside: Boaz literally instructs his men not to "nag" Ruth (naw-gah), which is conveniently translated as "touch." As adults we know what he's saying. "Nag" or "naw-gah" is a very very old word that shows up in many languages).   

It's interesting that when Naomi refers to herself as "Marah" (bitterness) she's using the same word as the name of the Marah well from Exodus.
Providentially! ....Marah is a cognate of "Maror" the name for the "bitter" item on the Seder Plate.  These days usually horseradish but in the past it was any type of bitter "green."  Variant and confusing traditions on that.

Keep in mind that Naomi's name means "pleasant" so maybe a "pleasant taste" for her on the plate.

Ruth's name in Hebrew comes from the word for "a female's close friend, companion."  For men the word was "Ray" or "ray-ah."     What food or taste would represent "companion" ???    How about an OREO  (bless be the creme filling that binds)

A Wedding Feast is assumed in Ruth 4, since it would have been unthinkable for one NOT to occur. It may have been modest given she was a widow and he was older and had probably been previously married. Don't know about that.

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