When my dogs are puppies I mess with them when they are eating. Pulling their food away or pulling them away from their food. Sometimes I will take their food away and feed them by hand a little at a time. My goal is to instill the idea that it's my food and I'm letting them eat it. Same as retrieving, it's my bird and they can get it and bring it to me when I say. It has worked for me but I'm sure the personality of the dogs has been a larger factor than anything else.
I also like to reinforce sit and stay when feeding a pup, I think it translates to steadiness as well. Set the food down and hold the pup a few feet away and don't let him go until he sits, it doesn't take long for a pup to sit and wait to be released. Always keeping it fun. My current "puppy" is nearly three and he still expects some kind of game before he eats.
Concerning the neighbors kids, always assume they will do everything imaginable to provoke a dog to bite.