Ellen G. White Writings

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Fundamentals of Christian Education, Page 425

Chapter 54—Importance of Physical Culture

Physical culture is an essential part of all right methods of education. The young need to be taught how to develop their physical powers, how to preserve these powers in the best condition, and how to make them useful in the practical duties of life. Many think that these things are no part of school work; but this is a mistake. The lessons necessary to fit one for practical usefulness should be taught to every child in the home and to every student in the schools.

The place for physical training to begin is in the home, with the little child. Parents should lay the foundation for a healthy, happy life. One of the first questions to be decided is that of the food on their tables; for this is a matter upon which the development of the little ones and the health of the family very largely depend. Skill in the preparation of food is very important, and it is not less important that the food be of the proper quantity and quality.

We all need to exercise wisdom in eating. If more food is eaten than can be digested and appropriated, a decaying mass accumulates in the stomach, causing an offensive breath and a bad taste in the mouth. The vital powers are exhausted in an effort to throw off the excess, and the brain is robbed of nerve force. Less food would have nourished the system, and not wasted its powers in overwork. Yet wholesome food should be supplied, sufficient in quantity and quality to nourish the system. If we follow the Bible rule, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God,” we shall not indulge appetite at the expense of the physical health, which it is our duty to preserve.

Every mother should see that her children understand their own bodies, and how to care for them. She should explain the construction and use of the muscles given us by our kind Heavenly Father. We are God's workmanship, and His word

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