Contemporary responses to childhood obesity rates in countries of the Global North have seen an increasing emphasis on embedding healthy food pedagogies in primary school curriculums. This approach is in part designed on assumptions that children are open to learning healthy habits and that they can have an important role as advocates for health in families. In this study with 50 families in Victoria Australia, with primary school-aged children (between six and twelve years of age), we used a mixed methods approach (including interviews, photos and videos created by the children) to understand what messages children are hearing at school about healthy eating and how these messages translated to their family context and eating. Our findings suggest that generally school food messages remain muddled and are not readily taken up by children. On the other hand, parents are influenced by, and interacting with, discourses of healthy eating and bad food that circulate. We conclude by looking at a number of school/family interactions where communication and engagement about healthy food appear to be operating effectively for children.
"Health and Nutrition Education"
Food Policies, Politics, and Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Professor JaneMaree Maher is Director of the Centre for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, Sociology, Monash University. Her recent publications include Consuming Families: Buying, making, producing family life in the 21st century, (Routledge 2013) with Jo Lindsay, and Sex work: Labour, mobility and sexual services (Routledge: 2013) with Sharon Pickering and Alison Gerard.