Recite ‘بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ ’ and eat from your side
Sayyiduna ‘Umar Bin Abi Salamah رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہُ said: I was under the blessed care of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ in childhood. (While eating), my hand used to go around in the bowl (i.e., I used to eat from all sides). The Beloved Rasool صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ said to me, ‘O boy! Recite ‘بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ ’, eat with your right hand, [and] eat from your side’. Since then I eat in the same manner. (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 3, pp. 521, Hadees 5376)
O devotees of Rasool! We should also make our children eat together with us and we should continue teaching Sunnahs to children while having meal. By virtue of it, children will keep receiving Madani Tarbiyyat [training].
Benefits of eating food with children
Different researches showed that those children who eat food with their parents remain healthier than other children and their mental abilities are also improved. Experts say that if children start eating with their parents from the age of 6, they will have its positive effects.
Some Madani pearls regarding eating food with children
٭ All family members including children should eat food sitting on dining mat.
٭ Keep your children sit near you so that you can pass Roti, water etc., to them as per their need.
٭ Teach your children from the beginning to eat food sitting according to Sunnah.
٭ If you act upon this Sunnah, children will copy you and act accordingly, اِنْ شَـآءَ اللّٰہِ عَزَّوَجَلَّ.
٭ While eating food, keep telling Sunnah acts and Islamic manners to children.
٭ Eat the particles of food if they fall on the dining-mat and motivate your children to do so.
٭ Make your children collectively recite Sunnah Du’as with concentration before and after eating food.
٭ Make your children memorise these Du’as and make them recite also, encourage them and give them prize etc.
٭ If a child eats or drinks with his left hand, correct him with courtesy, and inform him that eating and drinking with the left hand is a Satan’s way.
٭ If a child drops food, water etc., during eating, deal the situation gracefully in an appropriate way instead of scolding or making him ashamed. Aggressive attitude on such occasion will cause a negative impact on the upbringing of a child and he will be overwhelmed by the fear that he should not eat food with elders.
Hay falah-o-kamrani narmi-o-aasani mayn
Her bana kaam bigar jata hay nadani mayn
صَلُّوا عَلَی الْحَبِیْب! صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلٰی مُحَمَّد
 Du’a to be recited before eating:
بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ وَ بِاللّٰہِ الَّذِیْ لَا یَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِہٖ
شَیْءٌ فِی الْاَرْضِ وَلَا فِی السَّمَآءِ یَا حَیُّ یَا قَیُّوْمُ
Translation: I begin with the name of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, by the blessing of Whose name, nothing in the skies and the earth can cause harm, O the Ever-Living, O the Ever-Lasting. (Kanz-ul-‘Ummal, vol. 15, pp. 109, Hadees 40792)
Du’a to be recited after eating:
اَلْحَمْدُلِلّٰہِ الَّذِیْٓ اَطْعَمَنَا وَ سَقَانَا وَ جَعَلَنَا مُسْلِمِیْنَ
Translation: Gratitude to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, Who fed us and made us Muslims. (Sunan Abi Dawood, vol. 3, pp. 513, Hadees 3850)