Get your passport for flavor ready as you are about to embark on a cultural food tour! Over the next few months, “Adventures in Eating” will be exploring different cultures with a focus on food. By learning more about common foods and food traditions in different cultures, you will be better prepared to meet the needs of students in your classroom or in your care. You can also use the information to introduce children to other parts of the world and traditions outside of their own.
Our “tour guides” will be University of Minnesota Extension SNAP-Ed Educators from the Latino, Hmong, Somali, and Native American cultures. SNAP-Ed Educators help Minnesotans with limited financial resources make the healthy choice the easy. They often work with Head Start teachers or parents with young children. Each month a different educator will share the following:
- Foods common to their culture
- The top 3 things an early childhood educators should know about their culture
- An easy food or recipe that can be made and eaten by children in the classroom
- A fun activity or game from their culture
- A favorite cultural recipes you can prepare at home or share with students’ families.
You can begin the adventure today by thinking about culture. Culture is a way of life of a group of people – their foods, beliefs, values and symbols usually passed on from one generation to the next. What foods and activities are traditional in your culture? How are you introducing different cultures to young children?
Everyone likes to have their culture recognized. One way you can do that is by making parent handouts available in their language. Did you know that the MyPlate Tips for Healthy Eating is available in 19 languages? This is a great resource to share with families when teaching children about healthy eating.
Let the adventure begin!!!
Mary Schroeder works for the University of Minnesota Extension which helps to connect community needs with University of Minnesota resources. Specifically the Health and Nutrition programs and resources focus on disease & obesity prevention, healthy school environments, and continuing education for community professionals. You can link to the Extension Health and Nutrition website at: http://www.extension.umn.edu/health/