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 many food traditions in Canada.  These discussions will allow all students to participate and feel included, helping to create a sense of community and foster connections.

Food Discovery Through Images

  • Use pictures of foods originating from different cultures. Start with foods that tend to be familiar such as tortillas or tacos and then move on to less familiar foods such as bannock or challah.
  • 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. Brainstorm foods that could replace familiar foods e.g. naan bread instead of a tortilla.

Look Alike

  • Ask students to pick a common food like bread or cheese, then ask them to find a similar food from another culture (like naan bread or paneer).
  • Get them to research the foods they chose and present their findings to the class.
  • Use these guiding questions: Where did the food come from? Have they tried these foods? What are the differences and similarities of the chosen foods? How are these foods typically consumed?

Classroom Cultural Potluck

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

  • Organize 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 channa masala or baking a bread together.
  • Consider inviting parents to prepare foods at home and bring into your classroom.

By celebrating cultural food practices, you can help keep food traditions alive and create a learning opportunity for your students.


4 - 6

Topics to explore