The food we eat is part of who we are, part of our culture. From hamburgers to falafel, the dishes we grow up eating tie to our families and our cultures. Regions of the world eat different foods based on what they can grow and produce where they live. And, being introduced to new foods from all over the world, especially at a young age, can help expand our understanding of different cultures.
YWCA Minneapolis believes that food plays an important role in our early childhood education programs and goes hand-in-hand with our anti-bias curriculum. Food is an approachable way to celebrate different cultures and encourage conversation on the types of foods kids eat around the world.
Oftentimes, young children can be very picky when it comes to the types of food they will eat. We focus on expanding palettes by introducing new foods often. Our head chef creates healthy meals from scratch that incorporate different cuisines of the world. It’s a way for our kids to explore new foods and new cultures while expanding their palette.
We provide breakfast, lunch and a snack daily. Sample menu items include tilapia filets, curried garbanzo beans, black bean tacos, mushroom chicken and tofu spaghetti. Our menu includes vegetarian and/or vegan options as well. It is also pork-free to be inclusive of cultural dietary restrictions. And of course, we cater to allergy restrictions based on each child’s needs.
We create seasonal menus using seasonal fruits and vegetables. Parents of our children are provided a menu so they know what their kids are eating. We also have a monthly newsletter that includes easy-to-do-at-home recipes of meals or snacks that we serve.
Mealtimes are a way for us to share and connect, and we encourage our children to explore culture through food. Food keeps us nourished. And nutrition keeps us healthy. We look forward to playing an active role in broadening your child’s horizons.