Schooling Food: An Overview


Remember school lunch? What about play lunch? Have you ever prepared lunch boxes and snacks? Perhaps you still do. Who gets to decide what children eat and how they eat?

We explore the ways families do food differently, for reasons sometimes overlooked by educators and policy makers implementing school food programs.

Several school food programs have emerged in an attempt to curb the obesity problem. Policy makers have identified schools as one place where obesity can be tackled. One approach has called on schools to mobilise children as health advocates within their families. But what happens when schools recruit children to address their family’s health practices? Our research study equipped children with iPads to help us understand what they learned about food at school and their experiences of food at home. We also explored whether they shared school food messages and ideas with their families.

In Schooling Food we bring stories from real family dinner tables and lunchboxes to life. Our exhibition provides a window into the often unseen food lives of families. Join us on our journey from the family dinner table to the schoolyard, past and present.

MethodologyAbout our research

Our Australian Research Council project ‘Children as health advocates in families: assessing the consequences’ is a multi-method study led by researchers at Monash University with colleagues at the University of Wollongong, and The University of Melbourne. The exhibition showcases our data and findings from the project.

View the full infographic detailing our research methodology.

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