UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families Working Paper No. 46 2006
In this article we review the cultural-developmental significance of food and eating from a linguistic and cultural anthropological perspective. We treat mealtimes as cultural sites for socializing children into commensality, communicative expectations, and the symbolic, moral, and sentimental meanings of food and eating. Using ethnographic evidence, we indicate how mealtime comportment is embedded in practices and ideologies relevant to children’s competent membership in their families and communities.