This ESRC funded project explored the ways in which issues of care and control of children are related to food practices and identity within the context of residential care homes. We found that the provision and consumption of food can be a site of contestation, conflict and of power asymmetries within these institutional settings. We adopted an interdisciplinary approach building on, and developing, previous work from the sociology of childhood and social work. The research involved ethnographic orientated studies of three residential care units in Scotland. Everyday interactions surrounding food practices were observed and interviews were carried out with children and staff.