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Healthy eating as an unquestional norm in the school lunch context - Nordic children´s perspective
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.
Child and Youth Research Institute, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
School of Education, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland .
Faculty of Education, Bergen University College, Bergen, Norway.
2016 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction/Background: In the Nordic primary schools school lunches are organized in different ways, ranging from a hot meal served daily to every pupil free of charge to lunch boxes taken from home. Yet, the importance of the lunch for health and nutrition has been emphasized in all countries in dietary recommendations or in curricula. Little is known, however, how children themselves reflect on healthy eating in the school lunch context.

Topic/Aim: to explore 10-year-old Nordic children’s perspectives on healthy eating in the school lunch context.

Methods: Results are based on 72 focus groups with altogether 423 Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Icelandic participants of the Nordic ProMeal study. Stimulated by preselected photos taken in different global school lunch situations children were autonomously able to select interesting topics and perspectives for discussions. The data was analyzed by using thematic analysis and focusing on both semantic and latent meanings.

Results/Findings: Two main themes were found in the data: First, a semantic theme of categorizing related to the ways how healthy and unhealthy eating were distinguished from each other, and second, a more latent theme of the acceptability of healthy and unhealthy eating. Clear dichotomy of the entities of healthy and unhealthy eating dominated the discussion. Healthy eating was constructed as a rational, normative and acceptable way to eat in the school context, even with some moralistic tones. Yet, children also negotiated the borders of these two entities, which made the principally unacceptable unhealthy eating more acceptable also in the school context.

Conclusions: Nordic children seem to share the adult-set aim of healthy eating in the school context as a socio-cultural norm. Teachers dealing with healthy eating should be aware of and reflect the normative, even moral nature of healthy eating.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Food and Nutrition
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135665OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-135665DiVA: diva2:1104865
Conference
VII Conference on Childhood studies 6-8/6 2016 Turku, Finland
Available from: 2017-06-02 Created: 2017-06-02 Last updated: 2017-06-09

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf