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ERIC Number: EJ830707
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0965-4283
Challenges to Improving the Uptake of Milk in a Nursery Class: A Case Study
Albon, Deborah
Health Education, v109 n2 p140-154 2009
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine why the uptake of free milk in a particular nursery class was low, to explore the meanings children attribute to drinks given to them in school and those brought from home, and make suggestions as to what might be done to improve children's intake of free school milk. Design/methodology/approach: This paper is based on a case study of a nursery class attached to a primary school in West London. A total of 24 morning sessions were observed, comprising of 72 snack times. In addition, interviews were carried out with parents and early years' practitioners i.e. teachers and nursery nurses. Children's views were elicited through use of narrative observations and an activity using their drinks' cartons. Findings: This study found that these young children linked drinks brought in from home to having choices whereas drinking school milk was associated with having little or no choice. Unlike school milk, drinks from home were linked to stories of personal identity and family life. The children seemed to exert pressure on their parents to provide them with a drink from home and appeared to be attracted to drinks that included representations of characters from popular culture as well as particular brands. Research limitations/implications: This research is based on one case study, therefore issues raised may not be generalisable to all nursery settings. Practical implications: This paper encourages early years' practitioners to look in detail at how they organize snack times and the way that this might contribute to negative perceptions of healthy foods/drinks. It offers practical suggestions around how the uptake of milk could be improved in a nursery setting, emphasizing the need for the active involvement of the children. In addition, the study highlights the importance of informal as well as formal discussions with parents about food and drinks. The study recommends that improvements need to be made to early years' practitioners' initial and subsequent training in this area, given the significant role they play in health promotion. Originality/value: The value of this paper lies in the way it elicits the active participation of young children in the research as well as the focus on the minutiae of nursery practice and its implications for promoting healthy eating/drinking.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (London)