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Family and Consumer Sciences Education: Family Mealtimes

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   Families who eat together should pat themselves on the back! Eating together builds healthy children and healthy families. Parents are strong role models and can positively influence children’s eating habits. It’s best to start early, when the children are young and can form positive habits at an early age.

   Young children may need a bit of help learning good mealtime manners. First, make a list of manners that are most important to your family. Next, review your family’s list with all your children, young or old. It can be while reading a story book at bedtime for younger children, or for older children, while in the car driving to an activity.

   Here are a few table manners to get you started:

•Come to the table when you are called.

•Wait to eat until all have been seated, or in some families, after grace has been said.

•Keep your elbows off the table.

•Keep the hand you are not using in your lap.

•Place the napkin in your lap.

•Talk when your mouth is empty.

•Place napkin to the left side of the plate when you are done eating.

•No phone use during mealtime.

   Add your own suggested manners to the list. If friends join in the meal, they are expected to use manners also.

   Mealtimes together can be informative and fun for families. We all need that connection with our loved ones.Bottom of Form

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