I was accused of skimping on snack time in nursery last fast Sunday by one of the fathers who likes to tease. He said I was trying to lessen my own temptation to nibble by giving the kids the most boring crackers in the cupboard. He may be right, but not necessarily for the reason he suggested. While the letter of the law encourages Mormons to fast for three meals on the first weekend of the month, the spirit of the law can be taught even to our toddlers. So I don't serve colorful fruit trays or toast and jam on fast Sundays in nursery. I definitely don't pop popcorn or make anything that causes aromas to drift into church hallways potentially causing a stampede of ravenous teenagers to our door. Although the nursery kids don't really notice, we abstain from peanut butter scoops on spoons and sweet home-baked cookies at least once per month. I'd never dream of skipping snack time altogether, but I like the idea of simplifying the menu as a token sacrifice and a remembrance of the purpose of fasting. It's not far-fetched for our older 3-year-olds to understand that fast Sundays are different, even in nursery. If I were really ambitious, I might find a way for the purposes of fasting to come full circle and offer sweet treats to those in need of love and attention from our nursery class. Maybe I could take a plate of goodies to children who only attend sporadically, with a note from their nursery friends. Maybe I could deliver color crayon pictures and a loaf of bread to someone who would have been at church for testimony meeting if he or she could. As with every calling in the church, there is always more to do if life doesn't get in the way of our service and good intentions.My parents were \"goodly\" examples of obedience to the law of the fast. They began family fasts on Saturday evening with a prayer and a purpose. They let us sleep in a little longer on Sunday mornings so we had less conscious time to notice our rumbling tummies. And mom always set the table with her finest china for a beautiful feast Sunday afternoon. In my own family, we encourage our kids to begin fasting in some form after their baptism. For my son who turned 8 last month, he's decided to ease into full obedience. \"For my fast, I won't eat any candy or sugar,\" he announced last Saturday night. \"But I don't think I can miss breakfast yet.\"I could be more stern. I could be more exact. But hypoglycemic tendencies do run in our genes, and it's hard to live with a household of people running on fumes with headaches and the \"shakes.\" Besides, I don't want the spiritual nature of fasting to be confused with torturous starvation. So those who eat on Sunday morning with our baby enjoy a bland piece of toast, for all it's worth. It isn't long before each of my older children has come to realize that skipping the toast isn't so hard and compliance to fasting with special prayers is actually an easier act of obedience than they first imagined. For each of us, young and old, fasting with a purpose can be a beautiful form of simple sacrifice that nets rewards both physical and spiritual. I don't want our nursery kids to miss out on such blessings, so once a month, boring crackers it is.