family nutrition

Dinner Around the World

How to encourage awareness and acceptance of others through a fun dinner activity.

Hi Parents and Caregivers!

This is Annie. I wanted to share a wonderful family activity I came across recently that promotes global cultural awareness in a fun and engaging way. It encourages acceptance of others as well as an understanding of the differences in the way people live around the world.

I was over a friend’s house having a discussion on how to motivate kids to try new food when I learned of this activity.

Once a week, they have “dinner around the world” and it’s become such a success that the kids look forward to every week.

On a rotating basis, one member of the family gets to choose where they will “have dinner.” This can be done using a globe or by pulling up a map on a computer or phone. This family member closes her eyes and places her finger on the map. Once the country is selected, the whole family does a bit of research on the country to determine the meal they want to create. Dinner is then planned around that county for one night during the week. Now, you can also get really specific and plan dinner around the particular region or city within the country.

Tip: Choose the country a few days before the night of dinner around the world so you have time to plan the meal and include the whole family in grocery shopping. If there is a local restaurant serving the cuisine you are researching that might be a fun alternative to cooking in.

One “rule” which I think is super important is to encourage everyone to at least try one bite of the food that is made, even if they don’t like the smell or appearance of it.

There are so many ways to add to this activity. For the older kids who are able to do a quick internet search, have them research something they did not know about the country and share it over dinner. For younger kids, you can also find items around the house that can be transformed into scarves, hats, or jewelry from the country and wear them to dinner. This activity is open to so many possibilities and since the kids play a role in dinner it creates excitement.

If you give dinner around the world a try, I would love to hear how it goes and any other ways that you made it your own.

Thank you for reading!