The A Taste of Heritage Programs—African Heritage and Latin American Heritage—bring to life the healthy eating models presented by Traditional Diet Pyramids. Read more about  A Taste of African Heritage, and a Taste of Latin American Heritage, below! Then, find a class near you or become a teacher and bring these cooking series to your own community!






The African Heritage Diet Pyramid was created in 2011 with a committee of nutrition scientists and scholars of culinary history and African American foodways.

The overall pattern is a plant-based, colorful diet based on diverse vegetables, fruits, tubers and grains, nuts, healthy oils and seafood. Yet the African Heritage Diet also recognizes the distinct flavors and traditions of four major regions of the African Diaspora—West and Central Africa, the American South, the Caribbean, and South America. 

The African Heritage Diet Pyramid is based on scientific research that shows eating like your ancestors can help lower your risk of chronic disease, achieve a healthy weight, and promote overall wellbeing. 

The core of the African Heritage & Health program is our six-week cooking class series called A Taste of African Heritage, and a seven-week series for kids called A Children’s Taste of African Heritage. These curricula blend nutrition and cultural history with delicious cooking techniques in order to celebrate African heritage in communities across the country. 


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The Latin American Heritage Diet promotes richly flavorful, affordable, and easy-to-prepare foods, and reflects the great range of culinary traditions, foods, and flavors of this vast area. Variations have traditionally existed in the parts of Latin America where maize (corn), potatoes, peanuts, and beans are grown, including modern-day Mexico, and the other countries in Central and South America. This eating pattern is a blend of the broad traditional diets of four major cultures: the indigenous people (Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, and other Native Americans), the Spanish, Portuguese, and continental Africans.The Latin American Heritage Diet Pyramid was third in the series of traditional diet pyramids developed by Oldways. It was originally released at the Latin American Diet Conference in El Paso, Texas in 1996. A decade later, in 2005, Oldways held a follow-on Latin American Diet Summit in Mexico City to re-examine the science behind the Latin American Diet Pyramid.

A Taste of Latin American Heritage brings the Pyramid to life. This healthy eating model celebrates the traditional eating patterns (or “diet”) of our ancestors, indigenous people and immigrants whose food traditions shaped the culinary landscape of the four regions of Latin America: Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.Participants explore the major food groups of the Pyramid while learning healthy eating habits with simple, delicious recipes based in thefoods and flavors of Latin American heritage. Each lesson is based on a different plant-based food group in the culinary traditions of the various people and regions of Latin America.


Lesson 1: Herbs and Spices, Lesson 2: Tubers, Lesson 3: Whole Grains, Lesson 4: Fruits, Vegetables, and a Healthy Lifestyle, Lesson 5: Pulses, Lesson 6: Nuts, Seeds, and Oils 

Bilingual (all pages are in both English and Spanish)


El sabor de la herencia latinoamericana da vida a la pirámide. Este modelo de alimentación saludable celebra los patrones de alimentación tradicionales (o “dieta”) de nuestros antepasados, pueblos indígenas e inmigrantes cuyas tradiciones alimentarias dieron forma al paisaje culinario de las cuatro regiones de América Latina: México, América Central, América del Sur y el Caribe. Los participantes exploran los principals grupos de alimentos de la pirámide mientras aprenden hábitos alimenticios saludables con recetas simples y deliciosas basadas en los alimentos y sabores de la herencia latinoamericana. Cada lección se basa en un grupo diferente de alimentos a base de plantas en las tradiciones culinarias de las diversas personas y regiones de Am.rica Latina.

Lección 1: Hierbas y especies, Lección 2: Tubérculos, Lección 3: Granos integrales, Lección 4: Frutas, vegetales y un estilo de vida saludable, Lección 5: Legumbres, Lección 6: Nueces, semillas y aceites 

Bilingüe (todas las páginas están tanto en inglés como en español)

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