Module 7 

Meal Planning & Prep

Goals & Objectives

7.03: Five Regions of the U.S.

If you don’t already know, the United States is separated into five separate regions.  Each region is known for its own regional cuisine that many people flock to seek out.  



  • States included: Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland


  • States included: West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida


  • States included: Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota


  • States included: Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona


  • States included: Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, California, Alaska, Hawaii


Leveraging regional cuisine, including fresh ingredients and local flavors, “gives operators a chance to connect more with consumers,” says Diana Kelter, foodservice analyst at market research firm Mintel. “It gives a halo of fresher, more premium, and less mass-produced food, and that has become increasingly important.”

Regional foods often lean on natural ingredients, such as clams for chowder in New England or salmon in the Northwest. Others rely on ingredients invented by man, like cheese curds in Wisconsin.

By utilizing what is abundant in each region, it allows for the freshest ingredients to be used.

7.04: Meal Planning & Prep

When people hear the words “meal planning or meal prep” they oftentimes think about the new “meal in a box”.  These boxed meals have skyrocketed in popularity because of the ease of preparation, fresh ingredients, and ability to have just enough ingredients to prepare the dish leading to less leftovers or waste.  There are so many different companies out there now (Home Chef, Dinnerly, Blue Apron, etc.)  These companies send a box of perishable food with all of the necessary ingredients and recipe cards to prepare the dish.  Most can be made in under 30 minutes.  The rise in popularity of these boxed meal kits can be attributed to the hectic lives of most families these days.  

In other cultures, we see more of a profound emphasis being put on meals for the most part. 

With a Celebration of Culture, you can: 

• Recognize the value of healthy food and identify healthy choices using culturally relevant examples. 

• Learn how foods from all cultures can be part of a healthy diet.

• Encourage nutrient-rich food choices from the diverse cuisines, cultures and traditions available today.

People also connect to their cultural or ethnic group through similar food patterns. Immigrants often use food as a means of retaining their cultural identity. People from different cultural backgrounds eat different foods. The ingredients, methods of preparation, preservation techniques, and types of food eaten at different meals vary among cultures. The areas in which families live— and where their ancestors originated—influence food likes and dislikes. These food preferences result in patterns of food choices within a cultural or regional group.

Food plays an important role in the lives of families in most cultures. However, the degree of importance varies from culture to culture. Food traditions vary widely throughout the world. Even among people who share similar cultural backgrounds and some of the same food habits, eating patterns are not identical. Further, families vary from their own daily routines on holidays, when traveling, or when guests are present. Men eat differently from women. People of different age groups eat differently.

However, in most parts of the world, food is associated with hospitality and expression of friendship. Therefore, sensitivity to food rules and customs is important in building and strengthening cross-cultural relationships.


7.05: Review/Critical Thinking

Please complete the following questions. It is important that you use full sentences and present the questions and answers when you submit your work.


Go to the Assessment area in the course to complete the assignment Review and Critical Thinking and submit the work as a file attachment.


The answers to the Review and Critical Thinking Questions are worth 10 points.

7.06: Cooking Assignment #1

For this assignment you will be researching foods from other cultures.  You will create a menu that reflects foods of different cultures.  If you would like to prepare one of these dishes, please do! I will not make the cooking a mandatory component of this assignment because some of the ingredients will be hard to find.  Please present your menu in any form you wish but make sure if shows a variety cultures being represented.


The goal for you on this assignment is to TRY YOUR BEST!  You will need to take photos of the process as you go along as well as of the final product. Please submit your work in the Assessments area.

Creating a Menu

7.07: Module 7 Quiz

Before you take the quiz for this unit take a moment to review what you have learned.

When you feel that you are ready to complete the Module 7 Quiz, Meal Planning & Prep Quiz, click HERE.

Meal Planning & Prep

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