- When you hear the word Italian, what do you think of?
- When you hear the word French, what do you think of?
- When you hear the word Chinese, what do you think of?
If your answers were something along the lines of pizza, croissants and egg rolls, then you’re not alone. (It also means you’re probably reading this blog on an empty stomach!)
So often, we associate food with a specific culture, and there’s good reason for that. Cultures themselves use food as part of their identity. They celebrate it, pass it along to their children, take pride in it, and even bring it with when moving to other countries. Holidays, festivals, family gatherings – food is at the center of it all.
So why should this matter to you?
Because if you’re anything like us, you’re always trying to find new and better ways to teach your kids and to turn lessons into fun experiences your kids will remember. Cooking and baking foods from other countries is a great way to introduce children to another culture. It will leave a positive and lasting impression that will inspire your kids to want to learn more.
We’ve chosen audio stories as our main tool for inspiring kids about the world, but in our parent guides that accompany each story, we rely on other materials to enrich the experience — and one of those ways is by providing fun recipes.
We’ve put together our favorite eight recipes that are delicious as well as perfect for little hands. And if you have our stories, there’s one behind each of these foods, so be sure to listen before, after or while you and your child get busy in the kitchen.
France: Monet’s Crepes
You can’t walk five minutes in Paris without passing a crepe stand. Here’s a classic French recipe that you can fill with either sweet or savory.
China: Lucky New Year dumplings
Throughout China on the day before Chinese New Year families gather to make lucky dumplings. They symbolize wealth in the coming year. Sometimes a coin is even placed inside one of the dumplings as a surprise. Chew carefully!
Kaiserschmarrn is a 150-year-old recipe that was the favorite of the Austrian emperor (Kaiser). In fact, the word Kaiserschmarrn means ‘Emperor’s Mess’ as it looks like a plate of chopped up messy dough. But serve it up with apple or plum sauce, top with powdered sugar and you’ll definitely be eating like an emperor!
Spain: New Year’s Churros
Churros are a traditional food eaten on New Year’s Day in Spain, but you can certainly enjoy them anytime. Pair these churros with hot cocoa for the full effect!
India: Holi Coconut Phirni
Coconut Phirni is a traditional Indian treat often served during the Festival of Colors. Also known as Holi, this holiday involves throwing colored powder and water all over friends, family and strangers. Just make sure you wash up before getting started in the kitchen!
Ireland: Nate’s Soda Bread
This Irish soda bread is so easy and fun to make (and no yeast required).
Mochi is like candy for Japanese kids (and adults), a favorite on holidays, and a treat you can make at home.
England: Giggling scones
This English scones recipe is one that our daughter still uses regularly (much to our delight). They’re great for a special afternoon tea.
We hope you and your kids enjoy the cooking, laughing, learning, and, of course, eating! If you’re interested in finding out more about our fun audio stories for your kids about other countries and cultures, visit us at Around the World Stories.
Happy cooking and joyful learning!