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Eating relationships in an Early Years setting : more-than-a-kiss assemblage

Anastasiou, Thekla (2022) Eating relationships in an Early Years setting : more-than-a-kiss assemblage. International Journal of Literature and Arts, 10 (2). pp. 82-90. ISSN 2331-0553

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Abstract

Moving away from more familiar narratives of healthy eating and promoting a balanced diet in the early years, this research closely examines a powerful story around food, which could have been usually silenced or overlooked by practitioners or/and the researchers. This work seeks to foreground the affective relationships children have with food in order to understand why some children enjoy eating, whilst for others, it is a situation that is fraught with tension, anxiety and frustration. Using a diffractive analysis as a methodological practice, this study moves qualitative analysis away from expected readings around snack times in a nursery. Enabling the decentering of the human subject, the author was able to see and think with ‘data’ without privileging humans over non-humans. Collecting pictures, videos, notes, experiences, feelings and a lot more human and non-human entities, through entangled more-than-observations, this article attempts to think, feel, read and write along with food, young children, textures, liquids and theory in a snack time event in an early years setting. More specifically, during a process of intra-actions and affective flows between heterogeneous entities, the author aims to examine the way senses activate feelings and emotions during eating. This relates to the author’s main objective, which is to contribute thinking and writing to emerging new materialist literature around young children’s embodied engagements with food in early years settings while gaining knowledge around food and eating that goes beyond notions of healthy eating and a balanced diet.

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