A Poor Roman Family Day

Published on 26 May 2020 at 11:50

We just finished our Ancient Rome unit in our homeschooling. The kids didn't seem to be as into it as Ancient Greece (especially the olympics, ESPECIALLY the naked olympic games...), so I decided to finish with a bang.


We had "Eat like a poor Roman family" day. The kids negotiated with me on which day we would do it. Not a day when Grandpa Yes was coming, not on the day when Grandma M stops by for a window visit and brings lunch... how about Thursday? And so it was.


We learned about what the poor Romans would eat, and made a plan. Surprisingly, a poor Roman didn't have a lot of access to fresh vegetables or fruit. I thought the complete opposite - that their main meal source was vegetables.




A poor Roman's diet consisted mainly of:



A little honey.

A little milk.

That was it.


So - thats what we did. Breakfast was wheat berries cooked in water (using my Instant Pot - I know I know, not very poor Roman-y, but besides that it was authentic). We put some honey on top and then I poured a little milk over top. The kids actually really liked it.



We learned from our "Living Long Ago" book that the way people said thank you after meals was to burp. 

Guess what?

The kids LOVED that part of our poor Roman day.


I did let the kids snack on some raw broccoli in the middle of the morning, so I suppose that wasn't super authentic, but that's ok. We're not REAL poor Romans, ya know.


Lunch was ingested at a park, and we had homemade bread (you can read about how I make fermented bread here) with butter and honey. The kids were very happy to have this as a meal. I usually make them eat peanut butter and honey or jelly, but not today! Gymnast had about 3 slices and Twinkles had a whopping 5! 

Normally Orangutan doesn't eat too much for lunch but she did really well with bread and butter too. I think the novelty of eating like a "poor Roman" was what made it such a sucessful day.

More broccoli snacks in the afternoon. They kept asking for cheerios and pretzels, but I reminded them we were being poor Romans who didn't have pretzels or cheerios. Once reminded, they seemed content to go back to their playing.


I was calling them "my poor Roman children" or I would refer specifically to each child as "my poor roman boy/girl," and Twinkles then began to refer to me as "poor Roman Mom." It was the sweetest thing! 


I did surrender about 3:30 and let the kids have a couple blood oranges - again, not authentic but we're not real poor Romans.


Dinner came and we were excited about our "bread pudding." We followed a recipe from our book, "Living Long Ago." From what I could tell, its bascially french toast, without an egg or spices (which by the way weren't Poor Roman friendly.)


1. Cut bread into squares. 

2. Soak in a mixture of milk and honey. 

3. Heat skillet with olive oil in it. 
4. Fry soaked bread in the oil. 


Burp to say thank you (which the kids did with gusto!)


We also bread with butter and honey. Seeing a pattern yet?


We learned that the Romans ate "reclining," which was a fun vocabulary word to learn. So instead of eating at the table on chairs, we ate our dinner on the porch and "reclined."

Overall, I think this was a great way to finish up our Roman unit. The kids are so young, and I know we'll go through this unit at least 2 more times, (with Twinkles and then Little Love, and possibly even Orangutan) and they'll pick up more as they get older. 


I think we might do a "Eat Like a ___________ Day" after every unit now. We are learning about the Vikings now and have been talking about what we might eat at the end of this unit.


If you homeschool, do you do anything to finish up a history unit? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

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