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  • Writer's pictureElissa Strassman

Celebrating Family Food Cultures and Traditions

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

What makes you you, and what makes me me? Many of us may link who we are to the way and the types of foods we eat. When we think about food eaten from our culture, or our own family food traditions each of us has our own unique history.

Celebrating our family’s food cultures and traditions can have a positive impact on our overall well-being.

Some research shows that carrying out family meal traditions is associated with positive emotions, nostalgia, memories of family, memories of home, comfort, safety, connectedness and belonging. They can also help connect us to our ancestors, link generation to generation, help us to pass down family values, traditions and stories from our family heritage for years to come.

Along with traditions from our past, revisions or new traditions can be developed by families too.

And, sharing our cultural and family food traditions can also help create bonds with others too.

So what are some traditions that are unique to my family?

Mom and Grandma frying baccala on Christmas Eve.
Mom and Grandma frying baccala on Christmas Eve. A family food tradition that our family keeps.

Well for one, our family always had sauce on Sunday and Wednesday nights, something my mom continued from her family’s past. We also developed a reputation in our neighborhood for our homemade pizzas, which were always made and served on Friday nights(a tradition that was formed in our family, and that was completely unique and special to us). We feast on fish for Christmas Eve, and cooking with fresh herbs was something that also was treasured and valued as part of our culture, and when the season is right, you most definitely will find all of our yards, decks, and patios lined with herbs such as mint, oregano, basil and parsley growing in abundance, to help us enhance and season our favorite family foods and meals just right.

What traditions does your family keep? How have they been revised over the years, or, what traditions are new?

If you are in need of some ideas that may help ensure your family’s food culture and traditions last and last, I invite you to check out some of the following ideas below.

5 Tips for Keeping Family Food Culture and Family Food Traditions Alive:

  • Make a family favorite food, or traditional meal with those you love or care about.

  • Share food memories, or talk about family traditions or recipes with those who are important to you. Be sure to share stories about specific people who are linked to those foods, recipes, or experiences too.

  • Explore the region/town/city where your family comes from, can you find it on a map?

  • Explain the importance and meaning to the special dishes or cookware that you use.

  • Create a family recipe book, with descriptions or pictures of family members, and the memories that you have of their famous dishes, along with when certain foods are traditionally served too.

Have other suggestions or ideas for ways to keep family food cultures or traditions alive, or do you have a family food tradition you would like to share? As always, I invite you to comment below and contribute!

5 Tips for Keeping Family Food Culture and Family Food Traditions Alive


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