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Learning about Vegetarian Diets in School: Curricular Representations of Food and Nutrients in Elementary Health Education

DOI: 10.4236/aasoci.2012.21010, PP. 73-80

Keywords: Vegetarianism, Veganism, Nutrition Curricula, Food Pyramid, Elementary Nutrition

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Abstract:

This paper examines the way non-meat and plant based diets are discussed in four elementary curricula. The author used an open coding technique of grounded theory to understand the way food, nutrition and vegetarianism was discussed. The curricula relied heavily upon the USDA Food Pyramid and a related concept of “balance” for nutritional information. The curricula also discussed nutrition in terms of food and food groups, rather than in terms of nutrients. Although some of the curricula included information about the benefits of vegetarian diets, the high level of use of the Food Pyramid often overwhelmed the low level of information about vegetarianism.

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