Snack and mealtime are favorite parts of the day for most children at every age and stage. It’s easy to think that getting food into small tummies is the whole point of eating but it’s only half the story. The real value of snack and mealtime is social.
Mealtime is often the only time during the day when the entire group is sitting together without needing to listen to the teacher or learn anything in particular. It’s the one time that children can talk together when everyone is in the same place, doing the same thing. Encouraging children to socialize while they eat should be part of your teaching plan.
Make certain snack tables are near each other, not in different parts of the room, so you and your co-teacher can sit with the children and enjoy the conversation. Keep things pleasant, with an emphasis on sharing and smiling. When you do, more food is eaten, children are happier, and social skills bloom.
Find out more about children’s nutrition and eating in the toddler and preschool years in our course Feeding Each and Every Body