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Identify the dietary requirements of different cultures or religious groups

Special Dietary and Cultural needs

Soy Wheat This slide details the most common food allergens. Most children tend to grow out of egg and milk allergies, but allergies to nuts and seafood generally persist for life.

Egg allergy is the most common and also the one most likely to be outgrown. The number of children with milk, egg and seafood allergy has remained steady. Approximately 1 in 50 children has a peanut allergy.

The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit reports that allergy to other nuts, such as cashews, are also on the increase.

  1. They think cows are special and should be looked after.
  2. Some people live on the food they grow themselves, and some people have to rely on others to give them food, because they have had a lot of trouble in their country and cannot grow food, or work to buy food for themselves. It is recognised that catering for such a range can be complex.
  3. Other people choose to eat some types of foods for a lot of different reasons. Devout Hindus observe a lacto-vegetarian diet, meaning no meat and no eggs.

Your school may have a policy regarding nuts and the use of products containing nuts or any other food allergen if there is a child enrolled at your school with a diagnosed allergy. Allergens must be declared on a food label.

Religious dietary guidelines and restrictions

Coeliac disease affects approximately 1 in 100 people. This is different to a wheat protein allergy. Cross-contamination is of particular concern in coeliac disease. Simply using gluten-free bread is not enough. The ideal is to use separate utensils and work spaces to prepare food that is to be eaten by someone with coeliac disease.

Oats do not naturally contain gluten, however, in Australia they are likely to be contaminated with gluten. Strict avoidance is extremely important. Lactose intolerance is often confused with milk protein allergy. Lactose is the sugar found in milk. Lactose is digested by the enzyme lactase and the amount of this enzyme present differs from person to person.

Lactose intolerance is quite common among people from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and some Mediterranean countries, as well as among Indigenous Australians. Small amounts may be tolerated. Further information and website contacts are provided in the Guidelines for healthy foods and drinks supplied in school canteens on page 42.

Role of the school canteen with regards to special dietary needs Discuss as a large group what participants think the role of the school canteen is in regards to special dietary needs. Be aware of and adhere to any school policies. For example, remove products containing nuts. You may choose to stock certain foods if practical and if there is sufficient demand.

  1. Be aware of and adhere to any school policies.
  2. For example, while most Hindus follow a vegetarian diet, a significant minority will eat meat, though all are likely to avoid beef because of respect in the Hindu faith for the cow.
  3. Be aware of and adhere to any school policies. This can involve changes to the times of meals.

For example, use soy milk as an alternative to regular milk. There is no clear role of the canteen or the canteen manager beyond these steps. Acknowledging cultural differences How many different cultures are represented at your school?

Expert Insights

How does your canteen menu cater for different cultures and cuisines? Halal meats, vegetarian options, ethnic dishes e. Why should we do this? To address the cultural needs of specific groups in the school community. To expose students to a variety of cuisines. Maintain level of interaction with the group and explore more cultures. Where did the traditions come from? What are the expectations of other cultures? Asian cuisine varies from country to country.

Think how different Japanese, Chinese and Thai foods are. They often use soy-based products such as tofu soy bean curd - wet and tempeh fermented soy bean - dry. Indian cook with a lot of herbs, spices and chillies. Middle Eastern — again there is large variability from country to country but there are a number of similarities. Some commonly used ingredients include olives and olive oil, pitas flat breadshoney, sesame seeds, sumac lemon flavoured spicechickpeas, mint and parsley.

Southern European — olives and olive oil, pasta in southern Italy, tomatoes, rice Greece, risotto, Spain, paellameat lamb and goat generally well cooked, fish and seafood. Lead a discussion or conversation on different menu items influenced by religion. Hindu — regard the cow as sacred; eating beef is a sin. Devout Hindus observe a lacto-vegetarian diet, meaning no meat and no eggs. Judaism — food has to be prepared to kosher guidelines.

Orthodox Jews follow the teachings of the Torah. This states that all edible animals must satisfy two conditions: They must chew their cud regurgitated food. They must have cloven feet split hoof. Pigs have cloven feet identify the dietary requirements of different cultures or religious groups do not chew the cud and so are forbidden. Meat and dairy products must not be prepared together.

Muslims — Meat must be slaughtered in the Halal to the law manner. Muslims also exclude the following Haram not to the law foods from their diet. Buddhist — Mostly vegetarian, though Buddhists may eat meat if it has not been killed for them specifically.

Special diets - information for children

Christians — For the most part do not let their beliefs shape their eating habits. Lent —The 40 days prior to Easter. Until 1967, every Friday meant fish for dinner for Roman Catholics because it was deemed to be a day of sacrifice. Fish rather than meat was to be served as the main meal of the day. Many Roman Catholics still observe this on every Friday during Lent.