Food for Future Citizens: School Meal Culture in Sweden

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Every child in Sweden, between Years 1 and 10, has the right to eat a free school lunch every weekday. These lunches are cooked and served by professional staff in suitable, well equipped dining halls. Ever since schooling has existed in Sweden authorities in charge of the education system have organized school meals. Until the 1930s only children who revealed an obvious need received school meals. Every family had to apply and every single case was carefully investigated. Discussions on "the modern school lunch" started during the 1930s, when the Swedish compulsory school transformed from an education platform into an arena for social reforms. Social engineers considered the school to be an efficient means of changing, improving and fostering a strong and successful nation with healthy citizens. This article's aim is to reveal and analyze the roots of, and the welfare concept of, the Swedish school meal.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2006

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