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​​​​​At the Table Issue12345

Manners Matter

A shared meal, ​and the ​dedicated facetime that comes with it, inspires hope for the future and ​creates healthy ​eating habits that continue long after children leave home. The benefits of eating together also give parents the opportunity to model proper manners, as well as practice group decision-making and communication skills with their children. Best of all, shared meals make children feel important and included in the lives of their parents.

Let’s focus on manners tonight. When you sit down for a meal, take the opportunity ​to teach children proper table manners. Teaching these seven simple skills will get you off to the right start:

  1. Sit quietly at the table and place your napkin and hands on your lap.
  2. Serve guests before yourself.
  3. Use “please” and “thank you” when requesting and receiving items from the table.
  4. Engage in appropriate mealtime conversation topics—no bathroom words or potty humor.
  5. Be considerate of those around you.
  6. Don’t belch, take large bites of food, or talk with your mouth full.
  7. When finished eating, ask permission to be excused, and offer to clear your own plate and the plates of guests.

Dinnertime Activity

Who Will Be Manners Master?

Once you have explained manners to your children, make a game of them. Put a jar in the middle of the table and give everyone at the table five pennies. If you catch someone talking with their mouth full, have them put a penny in the jar. Asking for more potatoes but forgot to say please? Throw a penny in the jar. The person with the most pennies at the end of the meal is the manners master!

conversation starter

What Have You Said That You Regret?

If you could take back one thing you or somebody else said today, what would it be?

Coming up in Issue 3​

Most Kids Are Picky, Have Fun With It!


Take the Family Taste Test


You Can Have Three Foods...What Would​ They Be?​

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