Home‎ > ‎

Family Style Meals


I promote “Family style” meal service at all meals and snacks as it promotes and supports social, emotional, and gross and fine motor skill development.


I sit and eat with the children at the table as it is an opportunity to engage children in social interactions with each other and for positive role-modeling.


Family style meal service includes having the serving platters, bowls, and pitchers on the table so all present can serve themselves, except for infants and very young children who require an adult to feed them. I encourage children to serve themselves which develops their eye-hand coordination.


I encourage, but don’t force, the children to help themselves to all food components offered at the meal. When eating meals with children, I eat items that meet nutrition standards. New food acceptance may take eight to fifteen times of offering a food before it is eaten. I do not force or bribe children to eat nor use food as a reward or punishment.


I encourage social interaction and conversation at meal times, using vocabulary related to the concepts of color, shape, size, quantity, number, temperature of food, and events of the day.


Extra assistance and time is provided for slow eaters. I assist and am supportive with self-feeding so the child can eat an adequate amount of food to promote growth and prevent hunger.


Eating should be an enjoyable experience and in addition to being nourished by food, it is a great time to establish warm relationships!!



Kimberlea Materi,
Aug 11, 2014, 1:29 PM