Matti Tuuri

Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Irene Bornhorst


Montessori Early Childhood



This study was designed to investigate a child’s willingness to eat certain foods using three settings. The likelihood of a child to try a food was examined using teacher modeling with positive language, involvement with preparation and peer influence. The study sought to determine which setting was more likely to encourage a pre-school aged child to partake of the offered food. Included in this study were 20 pre-school children at a New York City private Montessori school. Data sources included pre and post study parent surveys, a structured student interview and observational data in the form of field notes and narratives. The results show that children are most likely to consume a certain food when influenced by an adult using modeling with positive language or by a peer. The findings imply that parents and teachers can use adult modeling with positive language and peer influence to encourage healthy eating choices.