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Children’s Foods

In the United States, as in many places, certain foods are commonly regarded as “children’s foods.” These foods, which vary cross-culturally, are defined and problematized in a variety of ways. American children’s foods are constructed in and across contexts, especially: at home, in school, and in the marketplace. Each context helps shape the definition of child-oriented food in America. Contemporary youth food habits and children’s foods, in particular those of youngsters preschool through adolescence (excluding baby food), are currently the subject of public debate.

The greatest issue is the nutritional quality of foods that children eat. Substantial increases in childhood obesity rates and food-related child health issues over the past few decades have led public officials, activists, and some parents to scrutinize foods (including beverages) and ...

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