Food practices and risk constructions in Norwegian and French kindergartens
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionGreve, Garnier, Ulvik, Øien, Chantseva, Fallang B, Gulbrandsen LM, Rayna S. Food practices and risk constructions in Norwegian and French kindergartens. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal. 2019;27(4):494-505 https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1350293X.2019.1634236
Food practices are culturally and historically situated, and so are conceptions of ‘risk’. Comparative studies of food practices can highlight these cultural norms and conceptions. In this article we will present results from a study that investigated food practices in Norwegian and French kindergartens with a particular focus on constructions of ‘risk’. We used a polyphonic ethnographic approach, where teachers and assistants from both countries were invited to reflect upon video clips that we filmed of their kindergarten settings, to discuss and critically reflect on their own and others’ practices. The results show that ‘risk’ can be seen in light of ‘risk’ discourses in the society. We identified both health-related and pedagogical ‘risks’. Food practices in early childhood education and care become a socio-political tool to either support or avoid and work against the experiences and food customs the children bring from home. The study can contribute to reflections on the taken-for-granted – on both a practical and a political level.