Teachers play a crucial role in providing food-and-eating messages to children as part of nutrition education programs that have been instituted nationwide as a way to increase school accountability for the growing problems of childhood malnourishment, diabetes, and obesity. In crafting and conveying these messages, teachers must navigate, and bring together in a locally logical way, government and institution mandates, their personal beliefs and cultural backgrounds, student diversity, and the classroom food environment. This also includes the children themselves, who are of varied weights and sizes and come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and so have a variety of ideas about food. Educators therefore may teach healthy eating in environments that may complement or contradict, as well as call forth, particular messages. While various public health studies have explored the ramifications for child health of particular aspects of the classroom, little research has characterized the enacted strategies by which teachers navigate their complex work environments to actualize healthy eating mandates. For this, ethnographically informed methods are needed. By observing the preschool classes at the SDSU Children's Center and conducting open ended interviews and a data review focus group with teachers and administration regarding nutrition education, this research will begin to fill this gap and it will do so in a way that will aid teachers elsewhere in addressing the contradiction that may exist between what is said and what is done in the classroom.