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Arts and Humanities journals’ primary focus is on presenting theoretical and empirical research in these respective fields. The main goal is to encourage educational research and connect academia to the scientific community. Researchers and scholars need to share their research findings with others to help better understand and act on the ongoing social changes in the field. The Arts and Humanities journals aim to provide a platform for everyone who shares a common interest in these fields and to group all the latest field findings in one place.

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Childhood nutrition is an important element of lifestyle research, since the regularity and nutritional content of our meals as children, and the way in which they are eaten, determine our physical and mental health throughout our lives. Prior to 2018, there was no basic interdisciplinary research on this topic in Hungary, thus to fill the gap, an interdisciplinary research group was established in 2018 at the Institute of Ethnography, which carried out nationwide research. The present study is based on fieldwork undertaken by the author in two schools — the János Lenkey Primary School in Eger (formerly Primary School No. 1) and the Tamás Bolyki Primary School in Ózd — as well as a large amount of information gleaned from questionnaires and interviews. My research was also extended in terms of a historical and geographical perspective: I studied archival sources and expanded the field of my investigations by including Salgótarján, a research location familiar from my earlier research, which provided a vantage point alongside Ózd and Eger, as a third city typical of Northern Hungary. Public catering for children has undergone significant changes in the last six to seven years, although prior to this it had appeared relatively uniform, in line with the ingredients available at the time. The obligation to provide public catering and the general obligation to work, which began in the Rákosi era and culminated in the Kádár era, significantly changed family eating habits. Traditional elements typical of a particular locality disappeared as the globalization efforts of socialism were accomplished. The ever-decreasing amount of time devoted to preparing, cooking, and consuming food moved society in the direction of canteens, fast-food restaurants, and later, after the regime change, global fast-food chains. Education on proper nutrition is not currently part of academic teacher training, thus for want of a better alternative, teachers organize children's school meals based on their own experience and socialization or following the school's regulations (where they exist), without having a unified concept. The number of meals eaten at home has been reduced to light breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, with families mostly sitting down together at the table for dinner, when they often consume ready meals. Lack of contact with foodstuffs and with the person preparing the food has a negative impact on children's psychological development. Relying on extensive basic research and participant observation, and through the joint efforts of specialists from several fields of the social sciences, a significant improvement could be achieved in both public catering and education on healthy nutrition.

Open access


In Hungary, about half of the 3–18 age group has regularly used school food service. This paper focuses on the operation and social embeddedness of school canteens and the at-home eating habits of the families involved. My conclusions are based on the findings of my interdisciplinary research group. Ethnographers from the RCH Institute of Ethnology and dietitians from the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition have been studying school food from 2018 to 2023. We selected a few model settlements: in addition to the capital, Budapest, three smaller towns, and two villages. Through questionnaires, interviews, and fieldwork observations, we investigated cooking, serving, meal courses, meal time, eating habits, preferences, as well as the nutritional knowledge of students, teachers, kitchen staff, and parents. Our goal, among other things, is to collect best practices and facilitate communication between participants. Some examples from our research highlight the special role of the centrally regulated school food in local food culture, and difficulties with social and historical roots can occasionally hamper school lunches in becoming a socially accepted model of a healthy diet. The school canteen works best at sites where cooking takes place within the school premises. There is a strong connection between the kitchen staff and the teachers, and they work together in the interest of the children. The value of food and its appreciation is demonstrated by how it is treated and how it is talked about. Communication about food in the canteen should be based on food preparation at home, where parents and children work together. The operation of canteens has become particularly problematic following the measures introduced during the coronavirus pandemic. A sustainable, enjoyable canteen can only be realized through the regular communication of schools and school kitchens, as well as children and their parents. Our findings are presented to our respondents, along with providing them with a comparison of different examples.

Open access

School Meals on the Menu

Studies on the Practices of Children's Catering

Acta Ethnographica Hungarica
Anikó Báti
Open access


To explore if translation-intrinsic features are apparent in other types of bilingualism-influenced constrained language use such as non-native production, this study approaches syntactic and typological properties of constrained English translated from Chinese and written by native Chinese speakers via two cognitively-motivated dependency metrics, viz. mean dependency distance (MDD) and dependency direction (DDir). Results of this study show that translated English (both L1 and L2) and non-native English differ from the non-constrained native English in a similar way yet to a slightly different extent, but not from each other in both indicators. Syntactically, bilingually-constrained varieties exhibit reduced syntactic complexity with shorter MDDs, suggesting a simplification tendency. Typologically, cross-linguistic influences are detected in constrained varieties for being more head-final in word-order primed by the source or native language Chinese. Surprisingly, it seems that language directionality affects, albeit marginally, the affinity between constrained varieties, with non-native English being more syntactically and typologically similar to translated English from L1 than from L2.

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