The song “It’s a Small World After All” has never been more appropriate. With the ability to travel quickly and easily between countries, people are now exposed to different cultures. This is also true due to the numbers of people moving from one country to another. You may be wondering how to introduce your children to culturally different foods as they meet people from other cultures.
No longer are citizens of one country simply content to live in that country all their lives. They want to see and experience the world in which they live. One way to do this is to try different foods while at home so you’ll be familiar with them when and if your family travels.
Perhaps you can take your cue from your child’s school work. Are they studying a particular country for geography? While at home, learn about what foods are traditionally eaten in that country. Then find a recipe for some of those foods and prepare them for the family to try.
Grocery stores generally have a large ethnic food section, so you may want to check out that area of your store. Some of the ingredients may seem unusual, so keep an open mind. After you try some of these foods, you may need to find additional recipes because your family enjoys the flavors so much.
Maybe you’re unsure of the reaction to ‘different’ foods, in which case you probably don’t want to try too much culturally different food all at once. Start with a dessert recipe; those are usually flavorful and sweet so even if the taste is unusual to your family, they may be more willing to give it a try.
You can also find restaurants from many different cultures these days. Rather than going to eat at the local fast food restaurant, choose one from a different nationality. In most areas you can find several Mexican, Chinese, or Italian restaurants, for example. You may also be able to find ones which specialize in German, Greek, Indian, Israeli, or Japanese cuisine.
Keep an eye out for festivals in ethnic communities. These generally happen in early spring or during the summer when the weather is warm. They will have music, dances, and food for the public to sample. You may also be able to find art museums which are showing artwork from another culture; they may also have a reception offering foods from those cultures.
Your family may feel most comfortable eating foods they’re familiar with; however, you want them to try something new. Use some of these ideas when figuring out how to introduce your children to culturally different foods. Once your family tries one new food, they may be willing to give others a try.