University of Massachusetts Amherst

It's MORE Than A Meal


Culture & Foods


This section will address traditional communication styles and eating patterns that may be common in diverse cultures.

This section will cover the following topics:

  • Why Consider Culture?
    What cultural trends are occurring in the U.S. population of older adults? Why is it important to consider issues involving culture and diversity?
  • Culturally Sensitive Interactions
    How can you interact with participants and staff in a culturally sensitive way? Learn some tips that focus on:
    • recognizing that different cultures may have different styles of communication
    • building communication bridges with people from diverse cultures
    • creating dialogues about food
    • learning to negotiate solutions in a culturally sensitive way
  • Cultural Foods
    What are some foods and eating patterns of cultures in different parts of the world? This section will feature foods commonly consumed in the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Middle East, West Africa, Asia, and Southeast Asia. Although the examples are not comprehensive, they may help you identify some foods that may be common to certain cultures.  

Note: The purpose of this section is to stimulate awareness of cultural groups, and respect for and acceptance of these groups. The following tips and examples are not meant to stereotype cultures, favor any cultures at the exclusion of others, or imply that all people from the same culture are identical. Food groupings in this section may differ from food groupings of the CACFP meal pattern.

in this section:

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Developed for the Massachusetts Department of Education Child and Adult Care Food Program by the University of Massachusetts Extension Nutrition Education Program. Permission is hereby granted by the Massachusetts Department of Education to copy any or all parts of this document for non-commercial educational purposes. The Massachusetts Department of Education, an Affirmative Action employer, is committed to ensuring that all of its programs and facilities are accessible to all members of the public. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.