Module 3: Opening a Dialogue
Communicating About Food

3.1 Overview

FamilyModule 3 explores the intersection of food and culture. Culture determines numerous aspects of our lives, from language and religious beliefs to how we dress and interact with others. Food offers numerous opportunities to build bridges between people from different cultures. As obesity continues to be an issue both in the U.S. and around the world, the ability to have respectful discussions about food and food choices with people of diverse cultural backgrounds has never been more important.

This module will:

  • Detail how to communicate ideas about food and nutrition to individuals and groups of differing cultures using a strengths-based approach.
  • Describe how acculturation affects the families we work with and how, in turn, their nutrition is affected by the process.
  • Outline the factors that affect the food choices that are made every day and apply regardless of cultural background.
  • Offer useful questions for finding out about changes in eating patterns.

In a multicultural world, opportunities abound for knowledge to be shared among MCH professionals, families, and communities. Being able to understand and respect differing food practices and customs and build trusting relationships allows MCH professionals to help their clients make healthful changes in their eating and exercise patterns.

Nutrition Update. (Spring-Summer, 2005). Kraft Foods.