Journal Article

Eating with children : a practice theoretical study of foodwork in transitioning to parenthood


This paper explores how the transition to parenthood reshapes foodwork in families by drawing on ethnographic, longitudinal research conducted with parents of young children in the south-east of England. It utilizes the conceptual framework offered by practice theory and unpacks how parents’ interpretations, techniques, and emotions surrounding eating transform as feeding and eating become routinized. The findings demonstrate the profound influence of feeding young children on the perception and practice of commensality at home. Mealtimes are increasingly recognized as crucial moments for transmitting manners and tastes across generations. Moreover, the analysis reveals that caregiving and other practices have a ripple effect on adults’ eating practices, leading to changes in their food priorities, meal schedules, practical arrangements, and even the division of labor along gender lines. The findings underline the complexity of implementing institutional advice, for instance on “good” child feeding, as it requires changes in parents’ own food practices and emotional relationships with food. By emphasizing the lived experiences of practitioners, this paper supports the growing call to incorporate identities, such as gender, into practice theoretical analysis, ultimately enhancing our understanding of how practices evolve and endure.

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Karademir Hazir, Irmak

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Law and Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2024
Date of RADAR deposit: 2024-01-18

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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