Food insecurity in books for children

A qualitative content analysis


  • Dian Day Queen's University



Children's literature, Food insecurity, Poverty, Shame, Social Justice, Windows and mirrors


Issues of class and poverty are largely absent from children’s fiction and from elementary school curricula, even though, in Canada, one in every five children live in food insecure households. This paper examines the limited number of middle grade children’s books that feature depictions of food insecurity published in North America in English in the past forty years and interrogates their assumptions about children, poverty, food, and hunger. While the primary cause of food insecurity for children is inadequate household income, often due to systemic inequities, most children’s fiction suggests individual choices or life circumstances are to blame and charity, kind strangers, and simple luck are the solutions, giving children, at best, an incomplete understanding of the social and political issues that produce food insecurity.




How to Cite

Day, D. (2024). Food insecurity in books for children: A qualitative content analysis. Canadian Food Studies La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur l’alimentation, 11(1), 171–191.