7 Table Manners That Should Be Taught To Kids Early On
Image Credit: Unsplash

Table manners are essential for a person not only because of cleanliness and hygiene but also pivotal in teaching kids social behaviour. In public dinners and parties, it becomes essential to follow the table protocol so that none of the other people feel uncomfortable due to excessive spillage of food and dirty surroundings. 

Video Credits: YouTube

Although most adults learn table manners quite fast, it might be a bit difficult to teach children how to eat properly, especially when in public. It is not at all mandatory for children to learn complex table manners such as the arrangement of forks and knives at such a young age. What they need to learn the most is how to not spill food and keep their mouth and fingers clean while eating. 

This is not just a way of keeping the surroundings sterile but also showing respect to other dining companions. Here is a list of some basic table manners that can be taught to children early on to make family dinners in social gatherings more comfortable.

Image Credits: Unsplash

* Washing Hands Before Eating

Children are often reckless when it comes to keeping their hands clean. Because of playing here and there with different types of toys, and touching dirty things, their hands remain dirty most of the time. It is important to instil a habit of washing one's hands properly in children. They should be taught how to wash their fingers and palms properly with soap and water just before eating the food.

* Using Napkins 

Children are more susceptible to spilling food while eating their meals. This can make their clothes dirty and stained. To avoid such a problem, all parents should teach their children to use a paper napkin on their lap while eating food. Some children who spill food excessively can either wear a bib or simply tuck in a napkin, just before starting to eat. This will help in preventing the clothes from getting extremely dirty.

* Body Language 

Body language plays a very important role in the digestion of food and maintaining proper hygiene while eating one's meal. Some children have a habit of not sitting properly with their backbones straight while eating food. This not only creates a problem in the proper digestion of food but also leads to spillage of food. Every child should be taught how to sit properly while eating food.

* Using Utensils

Young children, especially infants, have a reflex of grabbing food with their hands. However, parents should start teaching their children early on to not use their hands to eat everything. This can be extremely messy and children should rather use a proper spoon and fork to eat different types of food. Particular types of food such as pastas and macaroni need to be eaten with the help of a fork. Other food items that have to be eaten with the help of a spoon should also be specified to children.

* Chewing With Mouth Closed

Chewing food while making a lot of sounds and not keeping the mouth closed can be extremely uncomfortable for the people sitting near the child eating the food. This is a very repulsive habit and should be rectified as soon as the parents begin to notice it. Eating food with one's mouth closed and not making a lot of sounds is a basic manner that should be followed at any cost. Many people consider it a sign of disrespect if a person doesn't follow these basic etiquette. 

Image Credits: Unsplash

* Asking To Pass The Food

During social gatherings, when a child is sitting at a dining table with a lot of people, the accessibility to food may not be that easy. In this case, parents need to teach children that the only way to have food is to ask somebody else to pass it to them. As children are young and do not have an understanding of many things, many children tend to travel from one part of the dining table to the other, just to grab food. Children need to learn early on that while sitting at a dining table, passing the food to one another is a part of a harmonious dining experience.

Image Credits: Unsplash

* Asking To Be Excused

While having a meal, if the child wants to go to the washroom or leave the table for some or other reason, they should first excuse themselves. This is considered a basic sign of courtesy and children can learn this very early on. Also, if the child is done eating their food, they should take their plates with them to the kitchen sink.