Food and Culture Discussions

Multicultural 3 min

Help build an inclusive classroom!

By DFC - PLC, Nutrition Team
students in a classroom working on a group activity


  • Hands-on classroom activities
  • A class potluck

Inclusive Nutrition Messages

Food is an important part of culture and can provide a connection to a person’s family or country.

The following activities will provide opportunities to discuss foods from different cultural backgrounds, reflecting the diverse food traditions in Canada.  These discussions will allow all students to take part and feel included, helping to create a sense of community and foster connections.

Food Discovery Through Images

  • Use pictures of foods from around the world.
  • Discuss the origins of these foods.  Ask students if they have tried these foods.
  • Discuss how different foods can provide similar nutrition e.g., Cheddar cheese and paneer both provide protein and calcium.
  • Think about recipe swaps. Ask students to think about the new foods they learned about and how they could add them to recipes, meals or snacks.

Look Alike

  • Ask students to pick a food they know and then ask them to find a similar food from another culture or part of the world. For example, if a student picks paneer, they could explore cheese from other cultures or if they pick naan bread, they could explore breads from around the world. Get them to research the foods they chose and present their findings to the class.
  • Use these guiding questions: What is the origin of these foods? Have they tried these foods? How is the food similar to other foods? How are these foods often consumed?

Classroom Potluck

A potluck gives students a chance to try foods they may not be used to, promoting learning and acceptance.   

  • Plan a classroom potluck. For example, a “Breads of the World” potluck may include croissants, rye bread, bannock, milk buns, naan and injera. Invite students to try foods they have not had before.
  • Share food as a class by cooking a mixed dish like palak paneer or baking a bread together.
  • Consider inviting parents to prepare foods at home and bring into your classroom.

Celebrating cultural food practices will help keep food traditions alive and provide learning for your students.


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