Tips for Adult Lunchroom Monitors

1. Be a positive role model

Children learn by example. Introduce yourself when you meet the class for the first time or when new students join the class. Do not talk about your own or others’ body size, diet or weight. Avoid talking about the amount of food a child is eating or making negative comments about the food they are eating.

2. Be food safe

Ask children to clear off their desks before eating. Also, have them wash their hands before and after eating. You should wash your hands too.

3. Be aware of students with food allergies

Know which children in the class have an allergy. Your school will have a policy or guidelines to avoid triggering allergic reactions. Find out ahead of time from a teacher/principal what the policy is and what to do if a child has a reaction. Do not allow sharing of foods and do not bring foods that could trigger a student’s allergy.

4. Let the child pick what they want to eat from their lunch and the order they want to eat it.

Children have built-in signals for feeling hungry and full. They need to be allowed to listen to their bodies and eat when their bodies tell them to. Sometimes, a child may not want to eat a meal or snack.  Do not worry. They will likely have a snack or eat more at their next meal. Do not beg, threaten, play games or force a child to eat.

5. Do not use food as a bribe or reward

Before coming to a classroom, discuss with the teacher how to handle poor behaviour. Food should never be used as a reward (or withheld as a punishment).

6. Keep mealtimes calm and pleasant

Ask children to remain seated at their desks while eating and do not let them run around. Enjoy your mealtime with them. Talk with them about fun topics that kids enjoy.