Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.48(1) > 1081428

J Nutr Health. 2015 Feb;48(1):71-80. Korean.
Published online February 28, 2015.
© 2015 The Korean Nutrition Society
Children's eating behaviors and teachers'feeding practices during mealtime at child-care centers
Yoonjae Yeoh,1,2 and Sooyoun Kwon3
1Geumcheon Center for Children's Foodservice Management, Seoul 153-856, Korea.
2Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.
3Department of Food and Nutrition, Honam University, Gwangju 506-714, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-62-940-5428, Email:
Received July 29, 2014; Revised September 01, 2014; Accepted November 18, 2014.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



The aim of this study was to investigate children's eating behaviors and teachers' feeding practices during mealtime at child-care centers. In addition, it focused on the difference of teachers' feeding practices on children age under 2 years ( ≤ 2 years old) and 3 years and older (3~5 years old).


A total of 169 teachers working at child-care centers in Geumcheon-gu, Seoul, Korea, completed self-report questionnaires in December 2013. The questionnaires were composed of questions on children's eating behaviors, feeding practices; 'Explain', 'Praise', 'Modeling', 'Indulgent', 'Insist' and 'Reward', interaction with home, and a range of demographic information (analysis rate: 51.2%).


Approximately 59.2% of teachers had not taken a class on feeding practice and the average score for nutrition knowledge was 14.6 out of 30 points. The most undesirable eating behavior of children during mealtime was 'eating while walking around (36.7%)' both ' ≤ 2 years old' and '3~5 years old'. Regarding feeding practices according to children's undesirable eating behaviors during mealtime, there were differences between age groups. When children did not eat all of the foods that were served and did not clean up silverware or seats after having food, teachers caring for '3~5 years old' practiced 'Explain'. However, percentages of those who practiced 'Indulgent' and 'Modeling' were significantly higher in teachers caring for ' ≤ 2 years old' than '3~5 years old'.


These findings indicated that teachers caring for children lack education and knowledge about nutrition and feeding practice. In addition, verbal feeding practices, like explain, were mainly used by teachers. As a result, for teachers, guidelines and programs for learning about age appropriate feeding practice during mealtime at child-care centers may be needed.

Keywords: children; child-care center; eating behavior; feeding practice


Table 1
General characteristics of child-care centers and teachers
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Table 2
Nutrition knowledge score of child-care teachers
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Table 3
The most undesirable eating behavior of children during mealtime at child-care center
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Table 4
Frequency1) of children's undesirable eating behavior during mealtime at child-care center
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Table 5
Feeding practices performed by teacher regarding children's undesirable eating behaviors during mealtime at child-care center
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Table 6
Interaction about feeding practices with parents
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