If you are new to the USA, you may want to learn about American food. You have probably noticed that there are many choices! Find out about American food and food at your children’s school. Learn how to introduce Americans to foods from your home country. See ways to handle cultural differences about food.
Adjusting to American food
You may be surprised to see how many choices there are for food in the USA. There are many brands of food in all kinds of packages. Fruits and vegetables can be bought even when they are not in season. You will notice that restaurants serve food from many different cultures. Fast food is popular in the United States. It is easy to get a cheap meal quickly, and even to buy it without getting out of your car.
Unhealthy American food
Many American foods, tshwj xeeb tshaj yog ceev ceev khoom noj, in the United States contain sugar or preservatives (ingredients put in food to make it last longer). Many fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides, uas yog cov tshuaj siv nyob rau hauv liaj teb hais tias kom kab deb. Koj lub cev yuav tsis tau siv rau cov hom ntawm cov khoom noj yog li ntawd koj yuav hnov mob thaum xub thawj los yog tej zaum yuav pib mus nce hnyav. Consuming unhealthful foods is a problem for many Americans, who get overweight and experience health issues. Txawm tias tej zaum koj yuav tsum zoo siab heev sim khoom noj tshiab, tej zaum koj yuav xaiv los ua li ntawd maj, nyob rau hauv thiaj li yuav cia koj lub cev kho.
If you are trying to eat healthfully and cheaply, you will want to avoid eating at restaurants often. Cov zaub mov tau txais kev pab nyob rau hauv khw noj mov nyhav tsawg noj qab nyob zoo thiab muaj ntau ntau calorie ntau ntau, which are units that measure how much energy a food has. Mis nyuj khov, piv txwv li, muaj ntau calorie ntau ntau. Fruits and vegetables have fewer calories.
American views of immigrant food
Some Americans may not have tried the food you eat in your native country. Nyob rau hauv loj lub zos, there are many ethnic restaurants and so people have more experience of foreign foods. Nyob rau hauv me me zos, with less cultural variety, cov neeg tej zaum yuav tsis tau raws li tej.
Introduce new dishes
Feem ntau cov neeg Amelikas yog cov qhib rau sim tshiab hom ntawm ua noj ua haus thiab yuav mas yuav tau sim tshiab tais diav. Many Americans participate in “potlucks,” which are social gatherings where everyone brings a dish to share. Potlucks happen at big gatherings or at casual dinners. Qhov no tej zaum yuav yog ib tug zoo lub sij hawm ua kom paub lwm leej lwm tus rau koj cov zaub mov, ob qho tib si nyob rau hauv lub tsev kawm ntawv thiab kev xwm txheej. You can also invite people over for dinner and serve dishes from your culture. Some people may not be open to trying new food, Txawm li cas los, and it is important to respect that.
Food at your children’s school
Students in American schools do not receive breakfast except in some preschools for young children. Children eat before they go to school, although in some schools children can buy a small breakfast at the school cafeteria.
Lunch and snacks
At lunchtime, cov me nyuam yuav yog yuav lawv cov khoom noj khoom haus los yog nqa khoom noj los ntawm lub tsev. Packing lunches for your children is the best way to make sure that your children have healthy food, vim muaj ntau cov tsev kawm ntawv pab zaub mov tsis zoo thiab tej dej qab zib. Children in the USA also bring “snacks” to school. Cov no yog cov me me ntawm cov zaub mov uas lawv noj thaum lub sij hawm so nruab nrab cov chav kawm. Piv txwv li txiv hmab txiv ntoo, ceev, granola tuav, los yog crackers.
Help with food costs
Yog hais tias koj tsev neeg tsis muaj ib tug ntau ntawm cov nyiaj, tej zaum tsev kawm ntawv yuav muab free (los yog pheej yig dua) noj mov, xws li noj tshais, rau koj tus me nyuam. Every school is different, so it is best to talk to your child’s teacher or the school secretary you have any questions.
There is a possibility that children may make fun of your child for eating unfamiliar food. Cov me nyuam yau no tej zaum kuj ntshai tej yam tshiab thiab xav hais tias txoj kev sib thab lwm tus yog txoj kev txoj kev mus nrog lawv txoj kev xav. Koj yuav tsum tham nrog koj tus me nyuam txog qhov no, yog li lawv yog tsis tag los yog heev chim yog tias qhov no tshwm sim. Your child may choose to explain what the food is made out of, as some ethnic dishes contain similar ingredients to those eaten in the USA. Yog hais tias cov me nyuam yog tsis xav, your child may choose to walk away from the situation. They may want to choose a different group of companions.
If children continue to make fun of your child’s choices of food, koj los yog koj tus me nyuam yuav tsum tham nrog tus kws qhia ntawv hais txog qhov teeb meem no. Another strategy would be to talk to the teacher about organizing an activity in which food can become a teaching opportunity about culture. You could make a larger amount of the food for the class, and it would be discussed and shared
Polite ways to decline American food
If you are invited to someone’s home for a meal and cannot eat a certain food because of your religion or culture, you should feel comfortable explaining that to your host and hostess. Nws yog tsim nyog yuav tau ua qhov no ua ntej koj mus rau cov kev tshwm sim. Feem ntau cov neeg Amelikas yog cov heev respectful ntawm lwm tus neeg cov pluas noj thiab tej zaum yuav txawm nug koj cov lus nug kom paub ntau ntxiv txog koj txoj kev ua neej. Yog hais tias koj tau noj txaus thiab tsis xav kom tej zaub mov ntau, it is not impolite to say, “No thank you, I am full,” even if the host offers it many times.
Taboo or hard-to-find foods
Ib txhia cov khoom noj uas koj yuav siv los noj mov nyob rau hauv koj lub tsev lub teb chaws yog tog twg los tsis muaj los yog taboo. Taboo means inappropriate or forbidden within a culture. Ib txhia hom ntawm cov nqaij, such as horse meat and some organs of animals, yog tsis muag los yog noj. Many Americans think eating baby or fetal animals is wrong. Insects also are not part of the traditional diet, but you can occasionally find them at some ethnic markets.
Nyob rau hauv America, dairy products are pasteurized (heated) to kill bacteria, and fresh milk and cheese that do not go through this process cannot be sold. Ib txhia txiv hmab txiv ntoo, xws li mangosteen thiab askee, are not sold in the United States because they are considered unsafe.