175. Cultivating Cooking, Culture, and Community in Early Care Sites

Tuesday, October 29
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: 119-AB
CE: 1.5
Level 2 – Intermediate
Activity Code: 149657

As a reflection of our communities, child care settings are also culturally diverse, both in their program operators and the children they serve. Culturally appropriate approaches that reflect the food, feeding practices, and mealtime environments of program participants encourage inclusivity and curiosity. Exploring cultures and foods from around the world may also help increase child preferences for new foods.
RDNs can play an important role in childcare menu planning and nutrition education. This session will discuss ways to help child care sites create healthy mealtime environments that embrace ethnic diversity and cultural inclusion. Hear formative research findings from the development of U.S. Department of Agriculture Multicultural Nutrition Education resources and explore childcare recipes that reflect global flavors. Learn how to apply research findings from Iowa’s Healthy Habits Start Early project to improve ways you provide culinary training and nutrition education in childcare settings. Come exploring with us!

Learning Objectives:

  • Create and support healthy, culturally diverse environments in local child care settings through awareness and educational resources, and assist local child care settings in making healthy environments that support cultural diversity via free educational resources.
  • Adapt discussed educational models and use their expertise to train childcare operators.
  • Describe methods to evaluate the effectiveness of nutrition education and training related to healthy eating, multicultural cuisines, child eating practices, and food and wellness environments.

Learning Need Codes:

  • 8015 Cultural/ethnic food & culinary practice
  • 8010 Child and Adult Care Food Program
  • 6040 Education theories and techniques for children and adolescents

Performance Indicator:

  • 1.3.9 Recognizes and incorporates knowledge of cultural and/or religious foods, practices and preparation.
  • 9.1.1 Demonstrates and applies age-appropriate education principles.
  • 9.4.2 Selects and uses appropriate content and teaching methods to meet individual and group needs.


  • Franciel Ikeji, MS, RDN, LD


    USDA Food and Nutrition Service

  • Speaker(s)

  • Kaylyn Padovani, MBA, RDN, LND



  • Patti Delger, RDN, LD

    Team Nutrition Co-Director

    Iowa Department of Education