Swedish preschool children's experience of food

Annika Wesslén, Hanna Sepp, Christina Fjellström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Focus group interviews were carried out at 12 preschools. The aim was to investigate children's perceptions and experiences of food, and the possibility of using focus group techniques with children aged 3–5 years. A total of 103 children participated. The children associated food and eating with rules and norms. Most children described these rules and norms as well as what they were and were not allowed to do. They knew very well the difference between acceptable and non-acceptable mealtime behaviour, and were especially aware of what they were not allowed to do. When children were asked to rate foods they 'disliked', they spoke instead about their favourite foods. They did not categorize food as good or bad, as adults often do, but as 'food' and 'non-food', for example, sweets were not food. The method used in this study, the focus group interview, was judged to be a useful tool for exploring how children think about and jointly reflect upon food.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Social Sciences (5)


  • Children
  • attitudes
  • behaviour
  • focus groups
  • preschool


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