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Lunchboxes, Health, Leisure and Well-Being: Analysing the Connections

Harman, Vicki, Cappellini, Benedetta and Tarkó, Klára (2017) Lunchboxes, Health, Leisure and Well-Being: Analysing the Connections In: Leisure, Health and Well-Being. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 45-60. ISBN 978-3-319-33257-4

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Existing research exploring children’s lunchboxes highlights how this everyday object ‘is a container for various aspects of the private and the public’ (Metcalfe et al., Children’s Geographies 6(4):403–412, 2008), such as schools’ initiatives to enforce the government’s healthy eating policy. Although existing studies provide useful insights into the complexity of discourses and practices surrounding the preparation and consumption of lunchboxes, they provide few insights into the relationship between lunchboxes and leisure. Drawing on photo-elicitation interviews with British parents who regularly prepare lunchboxes for their children aged 9–11, this chapter argues that important interconnections between lunchboxes and leisure can be identified. Firstly, parents intend the food they provide to act as a leisure experience, a break from the pressures of school, ‘something to look forward to’ and a way of reminding them of home. Providing ‘treats’ for children (such as chocolate) is part of this, although this may bring parents into conflict with guidance from the school. Secondly, lunchboxes must fit in with children’s current leisure activities taking place in their lunch-hour. Therefore, parents avoid including foods which are difficult to open or take too long to consume which could prevent children from engaging in sport, or playing with their friends, for example. Finally, lunchboxes should support children’s future leisure opportunities by providing nutrition and variety to support their growth and development.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Cappellini, Benedetta
Tarkó, Klára
Editors :
Benkő, Zsuzsanna
Modi, Ishwar
Date : 7 March 2017
DOI : 10.1007/978-3-319-33257-4_5
Uncontrolled Keywords : Lunchboxes; Leisure; Parenting; Food
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 08 Dec 2017 09:46
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 19:05

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