Teaching Diversity and Culture with Easy Recipes for Kids

Teaching Diversity and Culture with Easy Recipes for Kids
Embracing Diversity_The Family Unity Project

There are a ton of creative ways to spend more time with family, and here at the Family Unity Project, we believe that quality time is an opportunity to bring diversity, culture, and other important social topics into the home. We're introducing an approach that not only connects the whole family together, but our connection with our communities and the world as a whole. 

Through this unique, shared experience of teaching social studies (diversity, culture, equality) with easy recipes for kids, you'll have a meaningful activity that gets the whole family together and sets them up for success. Think of it as Family Night with a travel theme.

We'll be sharing the value of cooking with children as a hands-on, educational activity that can be done at home to build family ties and foster appreciation of cultures from around the world. We understand that teaching social studies to kids is a totally new concept to most families, so we'll take it one step at a time. Then we'll provide examples of questions to talk about to help them understand the customs, geography, beliefs, and languages of people in other countries as you prepare traditional food with the family.

Why Should We Be Teaching Social Studies to Our Kids?

Today more than ever before, we need to embrace diversity and culture because we live in an increasingly global society where many aspects of daily living involve interactions with individuals who speak different languages, eat different cuisines, wear different clothes, worship differently, and follow different traditions. As a result, we must work hard to ensure that our young people grow up understanding and practicing tolerance, respect, and acceptance for those whose lifestyles differ from ours.

Cooking with Children: A Hands On Activity For Families

Family Making Dough Together_The Family Unity Project

When we're involved in the educational process, we often feel more confident and engaged with our children. We watch them succeed and learn new things, and we also become a big part of building their confidence in other areas of life too. So let's take advantage of all these benefits while making learning fun and interesting for everyone!

Introducing kids to cooking helps them develop healthy eating habits and gain knowledge about different foods and ingredients. Plus, there's something special about sharing meals together. When we eat together, we connect emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially. This makes us stronger as individuals and strengthens relationships within the family. Cooking also helps them appreciate cultural diversity through understanding where food comes from and its significance in society.

Teaching Social Studies with Easy Recipes For Kids That You Can Do At Home

We've seen how much joy comes into a classroom when students share what they learned through art projects or science experiments. Why shouldn't this same excitement come into our homes? When we cook together, we bond over something we love doing! Cooking brings out the best in each person in the kitchen. You might even find yourself laughing along with your little ones as you make silly faces during the process!

When you bring your family together to create delicious meals using foods from around the world, you’re creating memories that last forever. Not only does sharing a meal strengthen bonds between members of the family, but it helps develop empathy towards others.

As you become familiar with another country’s cuisine, you may discover that there are similarities between foods from different regions. This could lead to greater understanding among friends and neighbors. In addition, if you choose dishes from various ethnic groups, you’ll gain insight into cultural differences. As an added bonus, when you prepare ethnic foods with your children, you are not only participating in a diversity activity, but you are teaching them valuable skills such as patience, organization, creativity, problem solving, and leadership.

What Foods Are Commonly Shared Between Countries Around the World?

Pizza originated in Naples, but is now eaten around the world. Changing ingredients can add cultural flare to a family favorite!

The best way to introduce a new activity is with something familiar. This helps keep things simple and gives you a place to begin. Here are some ideas on how you can combine conversations about diversity and culture with easy recipes for kids.

  • Bread - Both Italians and French cooks use baked wheat dough, however French loaves are generally bigger and heavier than Italian loaves.
  • Rice - For sushi rolls, both Japanese and Chinese chefs use short-grained white rice. In contrast to Japan, which uses vinegar to flavor its sticky rice mixture, China uses soy sauce.
  • Pizza - While pizza originated in Naples, it's now eaten all around the world. The American version of the dish is characterized by a thin crust baked over hot coals. The Greek pizzerias serve round pies topped with olives, feta cheese, pepperoni, tomato, garlic, oregano, and anchovies.
  • Soup - Although there are dozens of varieties of soup served worldwide, one of the most popular dish is phở. Vietnamese noodle soups have a range of flavors, but are often served with ginger, lemongrass, cilantro, lime juice, fish sauce, and star anise. Bean sprouts and sliced scallions are popular garnishes for this dish.
  • Tacos - Tacos come in many forms but the basic ingredients remain the same. Taco shells are usually filled with chopped meat, diced green chili pepper, refried beans, lettuce, cabbage, onion, avocado, sour cream, guacamole, and more!

Introducing dishes they're already familiar with can encourage kids to explore international cuisine. Some of these foods from around the world may be a part of your average diet, making it even easier to tie discussions about culture into our meals.

How Do We Talk About Culture and Diversity With Our Kids?

How to discuss diversity with the family_The Family Unity Project

After learning about the "why" behind teaching social studies, we also discussed the importance of creating a discussion and asking questions that enable us to gain a better understanding of our world and other cultures. Here are a few best practices to get you started on these conversations:

Discussing Diversity with the Family

When introducing topics related to diversity, avoid focusing too heavily on negative aspects. Instead, emphasize positive characteristics like tolerance, respect, cooperation, and understanding. By doing so, you're teaching that every person possesses good qualities, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, socioeconomic background, or age. 

Encourage your kids to talk by letting them speak their minds without interruption. Be sure they know you value their opinions and that you're listening to everything they say. 

Bringing Culture into the Conversation

When talking about culture, try not to focus too much on differences between groups. Instead, emphasize similarities among all people. For example, ask your child:

  • What makes foods from each region unique?
  • Which countries produce their favorite candies or snacks.
  • Why does everyone seem to like ice cream?
  • What do other places call their favorite foods/drinks (for example, the difference between soda, bubble, coke, etc.).?

This approach encourages children to see themselves as part of a larger community rather than separate from others based on factors such as race, language, nationality, religious affiliation, etc.

If you're looking for inspiration, check out websites dedicated to multicultural families. These sites will help you understand customs and traditions around the globe.

Resources That Help Teach Diversity Through Food & Cooking

  • The Pragmatic Mom's Collection of Diversity Picture Books - This short collection of food-themed picture books feature international staples from across the globe.
  • Eat Your Way Around the Globe - This fun, international cookbook divides recipes by continent and country and includes “etiquette, food profiles, notes on the culture, recipe information, and even journaling space!” You'll find a variety of foods from various regions including “Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, Nigeria, South America, China, Japan, India, France, Ireland, England, Canada, Guatemala, Jamaica, the U.S. and more.”
  • The Food and Culture Project: The World's Flavor Profiles - The Center of Ecoliteracy offers a free, downloadable course on how geographic, historical, and cultural conditions influence what we eat and how it's procured, prepared, and served. They believe that by "exploring food through a prism of culture, time, and place, we build a deeper appreciation of how regional characteristics [shape] our global food system." Through this guide, the flavors of each continent are explored, as are the ingredients, seasonings, and dishes that "form the foundation of that country's cuisine."


Flavors across the globe_The Family Unity Project

You can also participate in other activities outside of cooking to help your kids learn more about diversity and culture:

  • Ask Your Child What He/She Thinks Is Important To Know When Traveling Abroad
  • Have Family Members Share Their Experiences From Travels 
  • Visit Local Markets Where You Live (Food Truck events are great for exposure to a variety of foods in one place)
  • Make It Fun By Creating Artwork Using Materials From Another Country
  • Play Cultural Trivia Questions At Mealtimes During Dinnertime Conversations
  • Read Books Written by Authors From Foreign Lands

Exploring Food and Culture Outside of Home

When you begin working with your children to explore different cultures by eating local specialties, you're helping them connect with the world outside of their own neighborhood. By introducing them to unfamiliar flavors and textures, you'll encourage them to try new experiences and broaden their horizons.

If you decide to go out and enjoy a meal outside of home, you don't have to travel far to enjoy unique culinary treats. Many cities offer restaurants serving authentic regional foods. In addition, most grocery stores carry products made locally. Some specialty shops sell items like olive oils, spices, teas, coffees, chocolates, pastas, and meats. When traveling abroad, go beyond the city limits and tourist spots and explore ethnic foods with local families.

If you'd rather shop online, visit websites like Local Harvest. They provide a searchable database of farmers markets, farm stands, CSAs, and other sources of fresh produce throughout North America. The site includes information on seasonal availability, preparation methods, nutritional value, and environmental impact associated with each product. It also provides links to companies selling organic goods.

You could even get sustainable, affordable grocery items with Imperfect Foods. Their products range from fresh produce and pantry items to delicious snacks, many of which are sourced from places that would have otherwise discarded them because they weren't "perfect". Their mission is to "eliminate food waste and build a better food system for everyone" and they support initiatives like Hunger Relief and the Feeding Change Fund. 


The Family Unity World Tour

The Family Unity World Tour is a travel subscription box that whisks your family around the globe, no luggage required. Turn family night into an immersive cultural experience while making lifelong connection with your family.


You might be thinking, "This all sounds great, but it also sounds like a lot of work." It takes time to research recipes, study cultures and countries, and plan everything out -- time that you're probably trying to save for your family.

We hear you.

That's why we created the Family Unity World Tour so you can travel the globe and create a unique, immersive experience for your family from the comfort of your own home without sacrificing time. We take care of all the leg work, recipes, research, and even conversation ideas! 

Our Mission

We want to empower you to bring the entire family together to cook an authentic meal, hang out, and discover fun ways to learn about each other and a new country. Our monthly membership allows you to immerse yourself in culture and celebrate diversity while creating lifelong memories with your family.

Our hope is that throughout our Family Unity World Tour, we make it easy for you to:


  • Create unique experiences for your family.
  • Build lasting memories and connection with your loved ones.
  • Celebrate culture, diversity, and equality.
  • Exemplify values of kindness, respect, acceptance, and compassion.

As a result, you also build lifelong connections by creating consistent and intentional time together where each member of the family feels seen, heard, and valued. We believe that practicing acceptance and learning to honor diversity in our own homes can create a stronger sense of belonging for everyone in the family, as well as shifting the way we see diversity in our communities and beyond.

What Is Included In Your Monthly Subscription?

Every month, we feature a new country. The subscription includes:

  • Sweet Snack from the Featured Country
  • Savory Snack from the Featured Country
  • Game or Activity Your Family Can Enjoy Again and Again
  • Collectible Sticker 
  • Booklet with:
    • Traditional Recipes for an Authentic Meal that the Entire Family Can Help Prepare
    • Fun Facts About the Country for Kids
    • Wine Pairings (for the parents, of course)
    • QR Code to Bonus Digital Content -  Presentation That Discusses The Country's Culture, Vibes, Lifestyle, and so much more!

Signing up is easy, simply click here to go straight to our subscription page.



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