Several studies reported that the timing of eating events has critical implications in the prevention of obesity, but dietary patterns regarding the time-of-day have not been explored in children. The aim of this study was to derive latent food patterns of daily eating events and to examine their associations with overweight/obesity among schoolchildren. A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted with 7–10-year-old Brazilian schoolchildren (n 1232) who completed the Previous Day Food Questionnaire, illustrated with twenty-one foods/beverages in six daily eating events. Latent class analysis was used to derive dietary patterns whose association with child weight status was evaluated by multivariate multinomial regression. Four mutually exclusive latent classes of dietary patterns were identified and labelled according to the time-of-day of eating events and food intake probability (FIP): (A) higher FIP only at lunch; (B) lower FIP at all eating events; (C) higher FIP at lunch, afternoon and evening snacks; (D) lower FIP at breakfast and at evening snack, higher FIP at other meals/snacks. The percentages of children within these classes were 32·3, 48·6, 15·1 and 4·0 %, respectively. After controlling for potential confounders, the mean probabilities of obesity for these classes were 6 % (95 % CI 3·0, 9·0), 13 % (95 % CI 9·0, 17·0), 12 % (95 % CI 6·0, 19) and 11 % (95 % CI 5·0, 17·0), in the same order. In conclusion, the children eating traditional lunch with rice and beans as the main meal of the day (class A) had the lowest obesity risk, thus reinforcing the importance of both the food type and the time-of-day of its intake for weight status.