Food for Kindergarten Children: Who Cares? Relations between Food and Care in Everyday Kindergarten Mealtime

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Abstract

This paper discusses mealtime in Danish kindergartens as sites for contested understandings of food, bodies, and care, in an everyday life perspective. Two contesting perspectives on the daily meals are presented, one that highlights the bodily experience of eating, and one that emphasizes the relations between food and health. The coexistence of these perspectives causes tensions in the everyday meals, and in the relations between children and adults. It is argued that adults often downplay the meaning of children’s bodily experiences of eating on behalf of a more rational approach to eating that seeks to construct healthy bodies. The paper builds on empirical material produced in the period from early spring 2011 to winter 2013 as part of a doctoral research project. The production of empirical material took place in three Danish kindergartens through a combination of several qualitative methods, among others participant observation, interviews and creative activities with children.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood, Culture and Society
Volume20
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)485-502
Number of pages18
ISSN1528-9796
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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