Cross-Cultural Communication and Nutrition Assessment


This course is designed for WIC personnel and other health care providers who complete nutrition assessments. Awareness of cross-cultural communication allows WIC personnel to create a more rich and enhanced assessment and counseling experiences with clients. The goals of the course are to:

  • Define cross cultural communication and why it is necessary in practice
  • Provide examples of effective communication techniques when completing nutrition assessments
  • Identify appropriate communication strategies when working with clients that have a language difference

Intended Audience

The intended audience for this course is WIC CPAs (competent professional authorities) who perform nutrition assessments for WIC participants. The course will provide overview information on cultural competence in relation to feeding and eating practices and is not intended to be inclusive of all information needed.


The length of time for participants to take this course is estimated to be 2 hours.

Course Content

There are three sections in this course:

Section 1: Cross-Cultural and Communication Techniques

Section 2: Communicating with Language Differences

Section 3: Scenarios

There are review questions at the end of each section. These review questions will provide you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills presented in these sections. There are six scenarios provided in the course that will allow you to see the recommended actions for each scenario. The "Cultural Competence" game is provided for a fun activity and with revision questions to enhance content retention. Finally, there is a post-test at the end of the course.


The following organizations collaborated on the development of this course: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service; Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH)- Iowa WIC Program; University of Iowa College of Public Health, Institute for Public Health Practice (IPHP); and Upper Midwest Public Health Training Center (UMPHTC).