An activity to introduce food choices in different religions and how more inclusive food choices can be given
You will need
- Drawing equipment
Before you start
You may wish to research some diets followed by religious groups if you are not familiar with them or don’t know their purpose. You could reach out to people in the community who follow them who might be willing to visit and explain. Plus diets such as vegetarianism and veganism can be looked into.
Run the activity
- Give each person a piece of paper with a circle on it.
- Ask them to draw what they had for dinner today or their favourite meal.
- Teach them about how people from different religions eat different things or prepare them differently.
- Ask them to look at the food they have drawn and how it would be different if they followed a different religion.
- Give each person a religion to follow and show them a menu from a local restaurant or a menu previously used by the scout group. Ask them what they would be able to eat if they were following the religion and how the menu could be changed to make it more inclusive.
There are many different things to eat and many different ways to prepare them. What people believe may affect what they eat but everyone has a right to food exactly as you do. Some of your friends might eat not be able to eat what you can but might be able to if one thing were changed. What can you do to help them when eating together?
This activity has allowed young people to explore their own food choices and understand how their beliefs and the beliefs of others may affect what people eat around the world.
Do your young people know anyone who follows a diet that you’ve discussed? Do they understand them better now?
Consider how an item, perhaps designed for adults or ceremonial purposes, may restrict movement or vision when playing a game. Choose your game or activity taking this into account.
Change the level of challenge
For younger sections, you could use visual aids for each diet to be followed to help them remember the differences between their food and others’.
For older sections, task young people with creating a balanced meal for a belief that they do not normally follow. They could try making this meal themselves at home or at a subsequent meeting.
There are lots of different ways you can adapt this activity, from focusing on halal or kosher diets to vegan or accommodating those with specific food allergies.
Make it accessible
Those with learning differences or visual imparements may find it hard to read a menu or draw their food. Consider using an adapted menu (e.g. with pictures or in braille) or having the group discuss their choices together instead of drawing and writing.
Youth Shaped guidance
Involve the young people and ask for their stories and experiences to shape the activity and the conversation. If using this to work towards a Faith or World Faith badge, ask the young people which faiths they are curious to discover more about.
This activity has been created by Alison Osborn, Scout Network member with Pegasus Scout Network and Skills Instructor with Stanley’s Own Scout and Guide Band as part of her King’s Scout Award.
Outcome: Epathise and understand others for who they are, regardless of their background.
Time: 30-45 mins
Location: Indoors/Outdoors/At home
Suitable for: Cubs, Scouts
Take it further
Gilwell Park’s Heritage team have a Faith Walk that covers some key sites around the home of Scouting including different places of worship.