This paper presents a theoretical framework for researching children and food consumption in the family. The proposed framework draws on contemporary social science approaches to the study of family decision making, food consumption patterns and routines, and consumer competence and food-related lifestyle in order to understand children and families through their everyday practices. It suggest a new emphasis on children as active agents in the formation of family food consumption patterns and looks at children's food choices as embedded in everyday family life. We focus especially on the construct of the "Consumer Competence" of the child as one important aspect determining the way a child is involved in and gains influence over family food consumption. The paper also demonstrates how a mixed methods design, employing ethnographic and survey techniques, involves advances in methodological and analytical procedure.