Make an Ethnic Meal with Your Child

Plan Ahead

  • Suggest a few countries to your child to choose from for the theme of the meal.
  • Find a cookbook that corresponds to the theme you have chosen. One with photographs will make it easier for your child to help with recipe selection.
  • Read about why the recipes are a tradition.
  • Help your child choose a simple menu that requires only one or two main dishes (generic side dishes can include plain vegetables, rice or salad).
  • Talk about how you might decorate the table.
  • Make a list of what you will need and go shopping together.

Making The Meal

  • Assemble everything you need.
  • Wash your hands together and explain why.
  • Measure out ingredients and explain why it is important to be accurate.
  • Explain the steps of the recipe to your child, and ask them to notice how the recipe is changing as you go.
  • Talk about how things feel, smell and look.
  • Let your child help serve the dinner.
  • At the table, talk about why or how these foods differ from foods they normally eat.
  • Talk about how things taste and what your child likes or doesn’t like about a particular dish.
  • Be sure your child participates in at least some of the clean-up.

Follow-Up Fun

  • Make a collage of your special meal using pictures of the food you prepared.
  • Get out an atlas, or go online to learn more about the country you chose.