Institutional food, and the flight of the peanut-laden chickadee

As we engage in our annual reflections about food and menu in the monastery’s dining room, it happens that the Food Programme’s latest show was on nursery school food and what toddlers eat: the roots of institutional dining, and part of the programming that shapes a child’s food tastes for life.

There was an observation that parents ought to be looking at the food offered to children with the same care they pay to checking out the qualifications of the staff and the rest of the facilities.

An interesting point made: don’t expect children to take to something you demonstrably don’t eat and enjoy yourself: “It’s no good expecting a child to eat something if you make a face when you feed it to them” remarked Dr Gillian Harris, a child psychologist (interviewed to much the same ends in this interesting piece on ‘supertasters’).

And the French were again held up as a model of good practice; this time for school meals – where attention is paid to the quality of the food as well as the food culture around it. Which is nice to hear, but not what we witnessed being fed to students of business school age, if what we experienced at the Dijon Business School is anything to go by.

I was even happier to have been born liking broccoli and cauliflower when I read this article.

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