Tips for Fasting with Kids

Are you a parent with kids at home? Check out these tips for how to fast as a whole family!


Fasting can be a very rich experience if you fast with your family members, including your kids, as you do it together! Obviously, it may not be wise to ask small children to skip a meal as their bodies are still growing and developing. However, there are other ways children can learn the ritual of fasting.

Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to teach your children the practice of fasting is not just subtractive (giving something up), but also additive (adding something), so that they understand one of the purposes of fasting is to create space so we can “feast” on God, His Presence and His Word.


  • Talk to your child(ren) about what fasting is and why it’s important. You can read a story of people who fasted in the Bible* (see below) and/or you can share your own experience with fasting and what it meant to you. 
  • Choose what to fast together: For younger children, invite them to help you decide what you will fast together. Is it dessert or sweets, or some yummy snacks that don't have much nutritious value? TV or video games? Don’t be afraid to give them a little challenge! 
  • Choose what to do instead: In place of unhealthy snacks, offer extra special healthy snacks, or with screen time, plan some fun family connect time. Some spiritual activities you can do together are: singing worship songs, reading a Bible story, praying for friends, families, and missionaries, or playing some games...make it fun and God-centered.

For children 10 and up, you may consider food fasting (ex: fasting from meat for a meal or two a day and substituting with plant-based protein). Have them brainstorm what they want to fast from, which could be a non-food option. 

*Fasting Bible Verses:

  • Matthew 4:4 | Man does not live by bread alone.
  • Ephesians 1:7 | We need God more than anything.
  • Luke 4:2 | Jesus fasted.
  • Joel 1:14 | Old Testament Jews fasted.
  • Acts 13:2-3 | New Testament believers fasted.
  • Matthew 6:16-18 | Don’t use fasting to look cool, but focus on God.

Family Fasting Conversation Questions:

  • What is fasting and why is it important?
  • What are some things we can choose to fast from? What can we eat or do instead? 
  • What do you think will be hard, and what can we do to help each other?

Kids Prayer:

This is one example, feel free to come up with your own!

Dear Jesus, thank you for your goodness to me. Please help me to stay connected with you even when I want something that I am fasting. In Jesus’ Name, amen.