Lynne Lafave, Associate Professor

Health and Physical Education
Mount Royal University

Lynne Lafave is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education, at Mount Royal University. Dr. Lafave is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She completed her PhD in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba and is a member of Dietitians of Canada. Her teaching responsibilities include Nutrition and Health, Statistics and Research Methods, and Research Methods for Health Professionals. Lynne conducts research on well-being initiatives in early childhood education and care programs; food literacy; and nutrition surveillance. She has developed the evidence-based Creating Healthy Eating and active Environments Scale (CHEERS) for child care that provides evaluation and a feedback report to promote healthy child care environments (

Mealtime experiences in a pandemic: perspectives from early childhood educators

Positive mealtime experiences in early childhood promote child autonomy and self-regulation that supports the development of healthy eating behaviours. Early childhood educators, as part of the essential COVID-19 pandemic workforce, follow new government guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of the virus, some of which govern food provision and interaction at mealtimes. Changes in family-style food service in combination with physical distancing have created barriers to educator’s perceived best practice for creating positive mealtime environments. Primary barriers include loss of educator and peer modeling, socialization, and nutrition cross curricular connections. The look and feel of mealtime experiences have changed during COVID-19 and best practice mealtime recommendations do not align in this context. Public health guidance on how to support positive mealtime experiences in the context of pandemic government guidelines is needed.