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5 Must Know Table Manners for Young Children

by Kelly Hughes on April 06, 2022

Good table manners for kids go way beyond the table and further into their social life. Excellent table manners prepare kids for social interaction throughout their life.

Making your child aware of what is expected of them at the table will make them more prepared to share meals with other companions besides their family. And it is good to start teaching while they are young! So, what are these table manners that every young child must know? Keep reading to find out.

 

1. Wash Your Hands Before Coming To The Table

Maintaining a healthy hygiene habit as simple as washing hands before coming to the table is one of the most important table manners that every young child should know. This practice not only shows respect to other people at the table, but it also shows respect to the host. 

 

2. Please Avoid Criticizing the Food!

It is not strange to find kids verbally expressing their dislike of the food at the table. As a mom, it has happened to me countless times. However, as a parent or guardian, consistently remind your children to refrain from criticizing the meal. Instead of complaining, teach the child to say 'no, thank you' when they don't like the food. 

 

3. Use Your Napkins and Utensils

Once seated at the table, kids should place napkins on their laps only after the host does so. The napkins on their laps can serve as an excellent reminder for them to use the napkin to wipe food off their hands instead of licking them. Keep in mind that children should be discouraged from eating with their hands. Instead, teach them how to use cutlery.

 

4. Wait to Start Eating

Teach your kids to wait until everyone is seated at the table and served for them to start eating. However, if the host insists that people can start eating immediately, then they don't have to wait for everyone to sit and serve for them to start eating. This depends on the nature of the meal. Formal meals require that everyone sits and serves food before anyone can start eating. 

 

5. Close Your Mouth While Chewing

Last but not least, remind your children always to chew food when their mouths/lips are closed. Also, teach them to wait until they swallow the food before talking. Other unpleasant acts that kids should avoid when having meals include slurping soup or burping.  

There are certainly more table manners that young kids should learn, but these are the top five table manners for young children that are easy to teach. Keep in mind that kids do not learn in a day. Thus, you have to keep reminding them about these table manners until they become a habit. Happy eating!

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