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Nebraska Department of Education
Nutrition Services
301 Centennial Mall South
PO Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-9487

(800) 731-2233 (Nebraska Only)
or (402) 471-2488
EMAIL

Child & Adult Care Food Program

Child Caring Online - information about the Child and Adult Care Food Program

The role of the caregiver at meal time

DO:

  • Encourage the children to try each food component.
  • Sit down with the children while they eat.
  • Encourage pleasant meal-time conversation. All meal-time conversation does NOT have to be about food.
  • Emphasize proper table manners.
  • Make meal time a pleasant time
  • Assure that each child is served a reimbursable meal.
  • Fill out meal count sheets at the point of meal service.

AVOID:

  • Hovering
  • Badgering
  • Cajoling
  • Forcing children to eat
  • Withholding snack for disciplinary reasons
  • Making children "clean their plate" of a food they may not like before providing seconds of a food component they do like. Every child is entitled to receive the full regulatory portion of every meal.

Related articles:

Should we force children to eat or reward them for cleaning their plates?

Adults Serve an Important Role at Meal Time


NUTRITION SERVICES > CACFP > CHILD CARING ONLINE > THE ROLE OF THE CAREGIVER AT MEAL TIME