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Feeding strategies used by primary school meal staff and their impact on children's eating

Moore, Susan, Tapper, Katy and Murphy, Simon 2010. Feeding strategies used by primary school meal staff and their impact on children's eating. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 23 (1) , pp. 78-84. 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2009.01009.x

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: In parent-child interactions, feeding strategies including pressure, restriction, modelling, rewards, encouragement and repeated taste exposure have been reliably shown to influence children's eating. Because there is no evidence that the psychosocial interactions inherent in the strategies are context-dependent, the present study investigated their utilisation during primary school meal supervision. METHODS: A case study of one Local Authority in Wales was conducted involving eleven primary schools stratified into socio-economic quartiles. Focussed observations were carried out over two to three lunchtimes per school to explore the feeding strategies, outcomes and behaviours inherent in the dining hall context. These were supplemented by semi-structured interviews with catering staff and midday supervisors, which were carried out after the observation session. RESULTS: Most feeding strategies used by school meal staff reflected those reported in the literature (e.g. pressure, encouragement and rewards), although purposeful modelling of eating behaviours was not found and the imposition of food norms, such as eating dessert last, was common. Dining hall staff readily, if not consistently, used these strategies, although the constraints and opportunities of each dining hall context influenced their selection and implementation. However, even if children left the service point with nutritionally balanced meals, they often failed to eat them. CONCLUSIONS: Because repeated taste exposure is known to increase liking for foods, further studies are recommended to investigate how the naturally occurring feeding strategies evident in primary school dining halls could be harnessed to encourage children to taste the nutritionally balanced schools meals that school meal transformation programmes will expose them to.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Cardiff Institute of Society and Health (CISHE)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Uncontrolled Keywords: children; feeding strategies; healthy eating; repeated taste exposure; school meals
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0952-3871
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2017 22:07
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/19281

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