Food. Fun or fear?!


Food can be a social delight and it can a dreaded time of the day too. Have you ever stood back and watched student behaviour in the dining hall? There are many assumptions people make about food and attitudes to how we use/ abuse food. 

If I asked you to think of a positive and negative moment around food from your childhood there would be instant memories. My positive is the birthday meal of chicken in a basket. Once or twice a year eating out was to be relished! The plastic basket was an added bonus too. 

My negative is sitting refusing to eat potatoes. Being left, alone at the table looking at a plate of cold potatoes in tears as there was no way they were being eaten. 

How have your food memories changed your attitude to food as an adult? I don't buy or cook potatoes. Every dish I cook will be minus potatoes. The sight of a potato on my plate still fills me with fear. Irrational but my foodie fact. 

My photo was today's lunch. Food can be fun and social. As I look forward to family dining in September at school, I'm reminding myself not to make assumptions about student food behaviour. 

Adopting a healthy approach to food for me is accepting that I can get the same nutrients from other food sources, therefore potato or no potato mealtimes can be fun. 

Author Profile

Julie Hunter

Julie Hunter

Deputy Headteacher Lifelong pedagogy magpie and sharer.

54 stories


Helen Pengelly Helen Pengelly @happyteachers 2 months ago
I never liked meat or fish as a child. I eventually grew to like meat as I was pressured into it but I am now a vegan.
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 2 months ago
@happyteachers the power of being able to cook for yourself can change attitudes to food greatly. No vegetarian options when I was at school either just the meal of the day.
Helen Pengelly Helen Pengelly @happyteachers 2 months ago
I used to get a piece of processed cheese! I kicked up a fuss until my parents wrote to the school and said I couldn't eat meat or fish. Our headmaster used to go round and make sure everyone had eaten everything that was on their plates. I used to eat the other kids' vegetables haha
Lisa Hannay Lisa Hannay @lisahan 2 months ago
My relationship with food is very complex. The earlier kids adopt a healthy perspective with food the better. I love food, all kinds and have great and not so great memories of food and eating. In my late 40's I struggle yet with my relationship with food. Thanks for your post!
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 2 months ago
I stopped eating meat when I was 11 - I didn't like it at primary but I was made to eat it. It is a taste and texture thing. When I got to secondary I was still made to eat it - it got the point where I scraped a lamb stew into my blazer pocket and went home with dripping! My mum was not impressed but supported me and wrote to the headteacher and informed them that they could not make me eat meat nor punish me for my eating preferences. Understanding has increased over the years so it is no longer seen as a fad but holidaying was interesting growing up.
Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 2 months ago
Thanks @lenabellina food in school is an interesting topic for both staff and students due to complex relationships
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