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Seeing Children's Pleasure with Food

by Deb Curtis
November/December 2010
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/seeing-childrens-pleasure-with-food/5019624/

The art of dining well is no slight art, the pleasure not a slight pleasure. 

Michel de Montaigne

Children’s relationship with food in early childhood programs is often a complex topic. Families have concerns about ‘picky eaters’ and teachers feel pressure to make sure that children eat enough while in their care. Children bring snacks that teachers describe as junk food and believe this negatively impacts children’s behavior. Foods marketed for children are often less than wholesome and childhood obesity is a growing concern among many professionals. Unfortunately it’s also still true that too many children in the United States have limited access to enough healthy food. These issues, as well as regulations governing how often children should eat, what kinds of food, and how much children should be eating, are most often the focus of mealtimes in early childhood programs.

Turning to the nationwide campaign lead by First Lady Michelle Obama can raise awareness and provide education for healthier lifestyles for children, including eating well and exercising (www.letsmove.gov). Along with this helpful resource, studying children’s perspectives about food can enhance our understandings and inform our actions. When I focus on children’s engagement at mealtime rather than pressures and concerns, I find ...

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