Institutions that provide meals to diverse populations are challenged to create menus that are acceptable and culturally responsive but within financial and supply constraints. A panel will discuss: 1) factors to consider when creating culturally, age and religion-appropriate menus (especially for schools, long term care facilities and other institutions); 2) supply chain, food production and labor issues; 3) menu modifications or adjustments to meet culturally specific and religious practices; and 4) using data in menu design and decision-making to meet required institutional, regulatory and customer needs. Menus must be nutritious, provide variety, and reflect the flavor, taste, or religious preferences of consumers. They are "an opportunity for conveying cultural diversity and inclusion initiatives" (Abdelmassih 2020).
CPE Level: Level 3 (advanced knowledge/expertise)
- 1.7.2 Recognizes the importance of diversity, orientation, social and cultural norms that may have an impact on individuals, groups and plans of care
- 12.2.6 Determines resource needs to develop, implement and maintain programs, initiatives and interventions.
- 14.1.6 Leads and participates in departmental and organizational goalsetting in order to align departmental goals with organizational strategic plans.
- Adapt and adjust institutional menus to meet the needs of culturally diverse populations and various religious practices
- Assess how purchasing, supply chain, and labor issues impact the provision of culturally diverse menus and religious practices
- Utilize and evaluate data to make menu and food systems modifications that meet institutional constraints and cultural and nutritional needs of clients
- Judith Rodriguez, PhD, RDN
- Sumiya Khan, MS, RDN
- Nancy Munoz, DCN, MHA, RDN, FAND
- Dora Rivas, MS, RDN, SNS