Meal time offers an important social setting. There is some research about family meals, but there are still few studies concerning institutional meals, like those in kindergartens. This study reports an intervention research involving three schools having creche and preschool programmes. The intervention research was conceived as a training programme for teachers of the three schools. An observational grid was expressly created by study participants pertaining to children’s behavior, setting and physical context, social interaction with peers and teachers, rules followed during eating, as well as teachers’ well-being. Observations were conducted by teachers themselves and psychology students, marking on the spot, by paper and pencil, the occurrence of each item in each 5 minute lap. Descriptive results show differences depending on children’s age and school. "Younger" children are less able to cope with the complex social setting, while "older" ones less frequently comply to rules like "good manners" at table. Schools present slight differences, but show the common framework of a regular, and at the same time flexible, pleasant social event for all the involved participants.
Keywords: Observation, meal, kindergarten, social interactions, "good manners" at table, intervention- research.