Families, Food, and Children’s Social and Emotional Development

Food is a daily part of our experience with our children. It serves as the convener at every holiday, social occasion, and meaningful event. Food is inextricably linked to our children’s social and emotional development contributing to a sense of belonging, connection, well-being, security and nourishment. Because food is such a consistent presence in our family life, we have an opportunity to influence our children’s healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

Last year, CPCK’s Jennifer Miller had the pleasure of talking with parenting experts Cecilia and Jason Hilkey of the Happily Family Conference on a topic that is near and dear — food! If you did not have the chance to participate in this outstanding online conference, Happily Family has made our conversation available so you can check it out! In it, we discuss…

  • how food impacts our children’s development;
  • our ability as parents to influence our children’s relationship with food;
  • creating healthy habits around nutrition in family life;
  • dealing with power struggles related to food and other stressors at mealtime;
  • what we can do about picky eating; and
  • how we manage our own stress particularly if there are medical issues involved.

Jennifer mentions a tool to use with children to promote healthy food choices including snacking based on the USDA’s healthy portion food plate. Check out the printable My Favorite Foods.


Interview with Jennifer Miller by Happily Family’s Cecilia and Jason Hilkey


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