Could The Acceptance Of “Ethnic” Foods Help Prevent Racism In Kids?

The National Children’s Bureau, an organization in the U.K. that receives about $23 million in funding a year, has issued guidance to “play leaders and nursery teachers” advising them to be alert for little kids expressing racist attitudes about food. The NCB published a 366-page guide for staff in charge of preschool children, and, among other things, it says children might “react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying ‘yuk.'” Despite this possible negative reaction, the guide advises that “No racist incident should be ignored. When there is a clear racist incident, it is necessary to be specific in condemning the action.” As silly as this sounds, learning to be more accepting of unfamiliar foods could be a great way to teach children about different cultures. In my hometown, we didn’t even get an Indian restaurant until I was in high school. One of the only things I knew about Indian culture was that my friend Nivedita had amazing gold hoop earrings and a nose piercing, and her mom was okay with this because they were part of their culture. Yeah, I was pretty ignorant. [The Telegraph, U.K.]