Canteen Manager Training Part 1

Circumstances that affect eating habits

Page last updated: 08 October 2013

Group discussion: What factors influence the requirements of canteen customers?

Promote a discussion in groups or as a whole group around some of the issues and factors that affect a child’s nutrition in regards to using the canteen.

Suggested answers:

Weight and height – age – gender – activity levels – genetics – illness – other circumstances – e.g. children with allergies/intolerances (peanut, milk, gluten, etc.)
Cooking abilities, equipment availability – e.g. Do you have an oven? A microwave? What do teenagers eat when they cannot cook?
Eating for occasions (Easter, birthdays, Christmas)
Daily activities – School day vs. weekend/school holidays, leisure time: sports vs. watching television (How does what we do affect our nutrition?)
Culture – we eat the food we are familiar with and tend to cook food in ways we are familiar with. It takes a long time to change cultural habits (if ever!). Food is related to emotions, memory, events and people – cultural needs will be further explored in Topic 3
Special diets, dietary trends – e.g. vegetarianism – this aspect will be further explored in Topic 3
Television – advertising and reduced activity levels

Also consider other influences such as advertising, money, climate, food supply, conditions of hygiene, soil conditions, reading ability, understanding food labels, access to food, government regulations etc. The message is that we are not in total control of what we eat!

Reference: Participant‘s Workbook p.6 / Trainer’s Manual p.8