This article reports on a specific aspect of a larger study of ‘a day in the life’ of five two-and-a-half-year-old girls in families in Canada, Italy, Peru, Thailand and the UK. The larger study involved filming each of the five children in their family contexts for one whole day and studying a number of emerging themes related to the child’s development. The focus is on mealtimes and eating. Culture is regarded as a dynamic dimension of the child’s socialisation through which family practices around eating (often neglected as a research focus) are explored. Using the concept of an ‘eating event’, by analogy with a ‘literacy event’, close examination of video sequences reveal the extent to which children and carers, with differing desires and intentions, negotiate and collaborate to achieve mutually satisfactory ends.