The Learning Preschool Foodscape: – how food environments can help promote healthier eating

Bent Egberg Mikkelsen (Lecturer)

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalks and presentations in private or public companies


Abstract: Meal programs in Danish preschool has undergone a rapid change over the past years and the new educational opportunities that meal provision offers have fuelled a new interest from the research community. Institutions for preschoolers offers a good infrastructure and skilled human resources that might contribute positively to active learning about life & health skills if food provision is linked to curricular activities in a creative way. The paper is departing theoretically from Bourdiues notion of cultural capital. The idea was translated into a food and nutrition heuristic using a typology of embodied, objectified and institutionalized cultural capital. The heuristic was then used to analyze the relation between the Dagmar intervention and the cultural capital as a proxy for food & nutrition literacy. The paper is based on the case of the Dagmar intervention (Dannelse og sundhed gennem bedre madrammer i børnehaver: A protocol for the intervention emphasizing the food related hands-on learning activities was developed on the foundation of the meal and learning program running in the Fuglsang kindergarten in Aalborg. The intervention was developed using an action research approach was then evaluated formatively. Data collection was done using individual open ended interviews combined with focus group interviews. Interviews was transcribed and thematic analysis was carried out leading to identification of important constraints and perspectives for action. The study found that meal programs in preschool offer a well suited opportunity for building active learning components into the preschool foodscape. The study further found that the commitment of the workforce involved in both curricular activities and food activities is crucial and that the inter-professional understanding between the teaching and the food & nutrition profession needs to be reinforced if coherent foodscapes are to develop in preschool. The study finally showed that the whole school approach provides a good framework for developing the important links between food praxis and curricular activities The paper concludes that there are promising opportunities for developing the learning opportunities in regards to food, nutrition and health in preschool and kindergarten The paper further concludes that the idea of food and nutrition related cultural capital seems to be a well suited theoretical framework for capturing the effect of the food, nutrition and health related learning processes that can evolve around the meal programs that more and more preschool and kindergarten are experiencing and food literacy can be used to provide health among preschoolers

Period9 Oct 2013
Event titleSchools4Health
Event typeConference
LocationOdense, Denmark


  • Kindergarden
  • lunch
  • food literacy
  • food & nutrition literacy
  • pre -school
  • food service