I LOVE food!
No seriously. I understand that it's necessary for sustaining life and all that jazz, but for me it's not about that. Some people eat to live, some people live to eat. I'm the latter.
I feel that food is about so much more than what you eat. It's about coming together and sharing experiences with people. Think about the top 3 traditions with your friends and family. How many of those involve food and sharing it with others? How many are centered around a big meal? Is there a certain dish that just has to be present or else the day isn't quite the same? Even if one of your favorite traditions is Friday night movie and pizza that still involves food.
There are so many ways to incorporate food into learning about other people. The thing I love about it is that your kids can be a big part of the process. All kids have opinions about food (sometimes very strong opinions) and involving them may increase their willingness to try new foods. Even if you don't cook, there are still a great number of ways to use food to learn about other people. Here are a few options:
To get started, here are some of my favorite sites related to food. You can find tips for how to involve kids in the kitchen, look up new recipes, and learn fascinating food trivia:
Getting Kids Involved in the Kitchen
Sweet Peas & ABCs
Recipes Around the World
Fun Food Facts
Common Food Myths
What will you try first? What is most interesting to you? Do you like eating new foods with your kids? Leave a comment below.
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Dr. Sweeney is a licensed school psychologist and cultural competence expert. Here are her musings on life in a multicultural world.
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