School meal reform and feeding ordering in Portugal: conventions and controversies

Truninger, M., Sousa, R. (2019). School meal reform and feeding ordering in Portugal: conventions and controversies. In Harman, V., Cappellini, B., Faircloth, C. (Eds.), Feeding children inside and outside the home, pp. 42-62. London and New York: Routledge.

Children and young people’s food practices are nowadays more visible, surveyed and contested than ever before. There are unprecedented levels of public and media discussion concerning young people’s practices, their exposure to marketing and advertisements, concerns around their health education, leisure activities, internet safety, and eating. Regarding the latter: food issues have gained increasing attention from the media and conquered central stage in the policy agendas of several countries. For example, in the UK, the growing interest in children and food consumption is visible in several policy initiatives that commenced in the present century (see Graham et aI., this volume). Some of these attempted to tackle the perceived unbalanced nutritional quality of school meals, to encourage children to eat better (e.g. reduced intake of sugary, fatty foods and fizzy drinks). Other than the UK, more countries are putting considerable efforts to reform school meaIs towards healthier and nutritionally balanced meaIs including sourcing organic and local produce, thus combining an agenda of health with one of sustainability (Morgan and Sonnino, 2008).