Good table manners for all ages
Create a courteous eater for a better mealtime-
Teaching your child mealtime manners doesn't have to be difficult. Some basic and easy tips can lead to a more enjoyable meal.
Make mealtime fun with a minimum of family rules — all positive. It takes a lot to become a courteous eater, so keep your expectations realistic and model the behavior you want to see from them.
Kids need to know:
- We turn TV and electronic devices off during dinner.
- We wash our hands before eating to get rid of germs that can make us sick.
- We stay seated and sit up straight at the table so nothing will spill and we won't get messy.
- Food stays on the tray or plate while eating, and is not to be thrown or played with.
- We chew our food quietly, with mouth closed.
- We say, "Please," when we request food.
- We say, "Thank you," as we accept food.
- We say, "No, thank you," when we refuse food.
- We use forks and spoons so our hands stay clean.
- We swallow food before we talk so we understand what is said.
- We pass food to others at the table.
- We wipe our mouths and fingers on our napkins to keep clean. No finger licking!
- We keep our napkins in our laps, and our elbows stay off the table.
- Each person gets a turn to talk, and we listen without interrupting.
- We make good comments about the food or none so we don't hurt feelings.
- We say, "Excuse me," for mistakes or burps.
- We ask to be excused from the table when finished – "May I please be excused?"
- We clear our dishes from the table to help clean up.
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