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ISEK - Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies Social and Cultural Anthropology

Nutritional reproduction: Uncovering reproductive imaginaries in child nutritional advice

Edmée Ballif


Projektbild Born in Bali

Guidance around what children ought to eat are changing under the influence of two major trends in western industrialised societies: the growing focus on ethical and sustainable foodways and renewed attention to food in early life inspired by the development of nutritional epigenetics. Although the notion of what constitutes “good food” for children has continuously been discussed over the past century, little research has empirically looked at the way contemporary child nutritional advice reflects wider societal changes. The proposed research project will answer such questions and break new ground in three main ways: (1) by bringing into dialogue insights from socio-cultural and feminist analyses of feeding children through a new framework called “Nutritional Reproduction”; (2) by uncovering how recent trends in child nutrition are transforming expectations of parents in gendered ways; (3) by shedding light on the particularities of Swiss food and reproductive cultures.