With Kids, Curiosity + Openness = Connection
Kids are a blank tablet, open to new ideas, open to learning, and with few preconceived notions about one another. There's no better way to promote the ideas of unity, compassion, and empathy for one another than to begin with children.
This can be as simple as having each child in your classroom, home, office, or civic or faith organization bring a favorite family recipe to exchange, or a story about his or her family’s food traditions to share. There are so many ways to create teachable moments in cultural awareness.
For example, organize a holiday cookie swap, making it intentionally multicultural in nature. Setting a multicultural theme creates and accentuates an intention to learn and understand.
December, for instance, presents a great opportunity since it’s marked by a convergence of religious and cultural holidays: Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Christmas, Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe, among others. Check out the benne cake, sometimes associated with Kwanzaa. Benne (the Bantu word for "sesame") was brought to West Africa through East Africa (Madagascar), and it was then brought to the American South by African slaves. Imagine the history that’s made this cake an American Low Country favorite for more than 100 years.
Please share your kids' Recipes and Food Connection Stories (they can help!), and contact us here with more ideas for creating multicultural food experiences for children to promote unity.