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Food, Culture and Reading

Facilitator's Guide

Food Culture and Reading Facilitator Guide


Food, Culture and Reading is a nutrition education curriculum that uses literature to learn about food, healthy living, and different cultures.

Purchase this curriculum

Finding Whole Grains - Sample Activity

Through experiential activities, youth will be able to recognize a variety of healthful foods within MyPyramid food group, taste new foods from other cultures, explore the similarities of food, and develop an understanding and appreciation of cultures that are different than their own.


The book is divided into six units. Each unit includes six activities based on a single culture, a featured book, and a food group from MyPyramid.

  • Reading: An activity based on a book related to a specific culture and the food they eat
  • Nutrition: An activity based on the identified culture and a specific food group from MyPyramid
  • Cooking: An activity focused on making a recipe from the identified culture, and using foods from the specified food group
  • Physical Activity: A physical activity enjoyed by youth from the identified culture
  • Cultural Experience: An activity focused on learning more about the identified culture and the foods they eat
  • Take-home Activity: An informational letter to parents or guardians describing the specific food group, health information, a recipe to share with their youth, and an activity for them to do at home
Note to Facilitator

You are lucky! You have been asked to be a project helper for a nutrition education program that uses literature to learn about food, nutrition, healthy living, and different cultures. 


Your Role

  • Review the material in the Facilitator's Guide and Food, Culture, and Reading Project Online site.
  • Gather supplies needed for each activity.Provide support for youth to achieve the success indicators for the program.
  • Discuss the review questions after each activity, listening to and encouraging the youth to give their own answers and draw their own conclusions.
  • Use the experiential methodology throughout the curriculum. 

In each activity you will find:


Life Skill: The 4-H Life Skill that corresponds with the learning in the activity

Project Skill: The goal of the activity

Education Standards: The Education Standards that correspond with the learning in the activity

Success Indicator: What the youth will learn in the activity

Time Required: The time required for the activity

Suggested Group Size: The optimum group size for the activity

Supplies Needed: Supplies needed for the activity

The Activity: The experiential activity providing youth with an opportunity to learn about a new culture through reading, nutrition, physical activity, and cooking

Talk it Over: Questions to ask youth after completing the activity to help them process what they have learned

Bites of Knowledge: Additional information supporting the activity

Spice It Up: Additional activities to do with the group to support or augment the main activity

Did You Know? Fun facts about the subject covered in an activity

Words to Know: Vocabulary words used in the activity and defined in the glossary

In addition, the curriculum provides a glossary for words highlighted in the activities and an appendix of reproducible activity sheets used in various activities. 

Hints when Planning Youth Activities


When planning your sessions, please keep in mind the following:

  • Each unit will take a few sessions to complete. You will be able to combine a few activities, depending on your group and size (for example: reading with physical activity; nutrition with cooking).
  • If your group meets immediately after school, provide a snack by using a recipe found in the project online.If your program has a routine schedule, adjust Food, Culture, and Reading to meet your regular time sequence—such as including physical activity after a snack and then completing reading, culture, and other activities.
  • Order books and MyPyramid supplies before you start the program. 

Project Meeting Ideas


When several youth are participating in the project, weekly meetings add greatly to the experience. The group leader or helper should plan and conduct these meetings.