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7 Mealtime Etiquette Tips
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 - 11:29 | Views - 1,906
Mealtime Etiquette for children (and many adults) is very important. Why? This is a hot topic because so many people get nervous and upset when invited to a meal because they are unsure about their etiquette and manners. Let's look at some basic etiquette rules for dining. There are many great resources including Emily Post's book The Guide to Good Manners for Kids, offers some great advice for children at mealtime.

Here are seven quick tips toward enjoying more mannerly dining

Before you sit down to eat, wash your hands and face. Have you made it a habit to wash up before meals? There are so many opportunities to become ill due to dirty hands. Make a real effort to incorporate this as a habit in your life and make sure that your children emulate your behavior

No one should begin eating until everyone is seated and the hostess begins to eat. This is a common courtesy which shows respect for the hostess/host. It really is very rude to sit down and begin enjoying the meal while the cook or host is still bringing in more food or preparing to enjoy the meal and the fellowship along with his or her family or guests.

Be positive and grateful about the food. Teach your children not to complain about the food choices. This is a common problem. Children like to eat what they like to eat-and not much more. Teach them to compliment the host/hostess on what they like or to remain silent about what they do not. Cooking is a labor of love. Help them understand the importance of being appreciative.

Everyone at the table should be included in the conversation. This is a great opportunity for your children to work on their communication skills. Communication involves listening, speaking and understanding. Encourage them to speak up, to ask questions and to listen when others are sharing. You want them to understand that they should not monopolize the conversation.

Keep yourself presentable. Make sure your children understand that they should use their napkin to wipe their face if needed. Also, they should keep their hands clean and try not to make a mess around their plate area. This can be difficult for some children so just remember to encourage their efforts and practice, practice, practice.

No rude or inappropriate behavior. These might include anything from loud belching to eating with food in their mouths. Explain that proper manners are born out of the desire to help others feel comfortable. These behaviors will do just the opposite.

Give proper thanks. Even in a home where there is no pre-meal blessing said, there should always be thanks given. Teach your children to thank the cook (even if that is you) and to make this a matter of habit in life. Sometimes preparing meals can seem a thankless task for moms. This is one of my 'fabulous five' sayings, 'Thank you.'

Make practicing manners a daily habit at home and when you are dining out. Your children will be grateful to you for the training in later years. Great manners are a large part of your personal presentation arsenal.
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