In the article, “This Is Bread? A Journey to Decolonizing Our Snack Time,” Nicky Byres and Tianna Morris write:

We thought we were doing pretty well in the snack time department in our 12 child care programs… Until an educator asked a question that stopped us in our tracks and decisively unchecked the snack time box. She asked “Why is our snack menu so western and unreflective of the cultures the children represented?” How had we not seen this? Why had we missed this very obvious way to reflect and celebrate our diverse child care population?

And so began our journey to decolonize our snack menu…We reflected on our values and we had conversations with our educators, families and the children. We listened first and then we made thoughtful intentional changes. What were snacks we could easily offer that would mean something to the children who are predominantly of Asian heritage? What other offerings could our very diverse staff team make? What has emerged is a snack menu that is reflective of our children, families and educators. What has delighted us with joy is the reaction of the children and the educators. When we added a broad category of bread to the snack rotation our educators stepped up to make bread that reflected their culture. We had bannock, naan, roti, flatbread, garlic bread. And each one came with a story, a rich story, of the educator’s history and culture, of their families and cooking with beloved parents and grandparents. The children delighted in familiar and new smells and tastes. The same happened on dumpling day, gyoza, soup dumplings, perogies … snack is a feast and delight now, a vehicle for sharing and connecting…. For building relationships … which is, after all, the absolute core value of our work.

Reflect on This

When Byres and Morris invited their team to contribute to the types of bread in their snack rotation, “each one came with a story, a rich story, of the educator’s history and culture, of their families and cooking with beloved parents and grandparents.” Share a food or recipe that’s personally meaningful to you. What story do you have  to tell with it?

 

Exchange Press is committed to supporting early ­childhood professionals worldwide in their efforts to craft early childhood environments where adults and ­children thrive - environments that foster friendship, curiosity, self-esteem, joy, and respect; where the talents of all are fully ­challenged and justly rewarded.

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