Autonomy at mealtime: Building healthy food preferences and eating behaviors in young children

To think, “On a typical day in 1992, 1.9 million children ate at least one of their meals in a child care center or family day care home”. (Briley, Roberts-Gray, & Simpson, 1994).

Abstract

This article discusses family-style meal service as a means to building autonomy and healthy eating behaviors in young children. The authors discuss the development of food preferences, age-related developmental responses to food, and the importance of socially mediated exposure to food as a way to increased food acceptance. Guidelines for implementing family-style mealtimes in child care settings are outlined.

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Correspondence to Catherine Mogharreban Ph.D..

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Mogharreban, C., Nahikian-Nelms, M. Autonomy at mealtime: Building healthy food preferences and eating behaviors in young children. Early Childhood Educ J 24, 29–32 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02430547

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Key Words

  • young children
  • mealtime
  • nutrition
  • food preferences
  • child care