March 25, 2024 PD Training

Creating a Food Culture in Young Children


Neighborhood House Association

Social services agency, local to San Diego

A food culture is the collective habits, attitudes, rituals, beliefs, attitudes, lifestyles, and practices around producing, procuring, and consuming food

Like when do I eat? How do I eat? What do I eat? Do I stop eating when I feel full?

How do you build a food culture?

You start early! Kids can eat “adult” food, it might just need to be modified to be easier to eat (like cutting into smaller pieces). Expose kids to lots of different healthy foods, even if it means losing your own comfort zone.

Get kids involved in meal prep and planning. Allow them to decide what to eat, how much to eat, and whether or not they eat

Be transparent. Don’t trick kids or hide foods.

Set rules for healthy eating, like no devices and a consistent place to eat

Satter’s Division of Responsibilities

– See Body Positivity and Building a Healthy Relationship with Foods notes

Avoid catering likes or dislikes, providing beverages outside of meals and snacks (?)

If there is something they don’t, allow them to just push it aside

Hold kids accountable to the decisions they made

Be patient and consistent