Adults are role models – children learn a lot from watching and listening to what goes on around them. By sitting with children at meals and encouraging healthy behaviours, staff and carers can support children’s healthy eating habits.

Some things for adults to keep in mind include:

  • sitting with children during meal and snack times
  • where meals are provided, eating the same foods as the children
  • not discussing personal likes and dislikes
  • encouraging children to taste all foods offered
  • letting children choose what and how much they eat from what is available
  • allowing children to serve themselves
  • never giving or denying food as a reward or punishment
  • maintaining a relaxed and positive social environment.
Staff and carers can work in partnership with parents to encourage healthy eating behaviours in children. Discussions about children’s eating can provide valuable opportunities for parents, staff and carers to learn about children’s exploration of new foods and skills related to eating.