Every kid should comply with good table manners not only during family holidays and parties but also during every single meal they eat. We eat with different people in different stages of our life — right from high chair, school lunches and college hostels to business meetings and social events. Our table manners should leave a lasting positive impression on the people we meet at any point in our life.
Parents can teach their children the art of good table manners right from a very young age to mold them into a well-mannered person.
Registered dietitians and nutritionists state that table manners are one way of creating a magical bond between the parents and the children that goes beyond nutrition and is a smart way to pass on your traditional values and ideologies.
Research proves that eating together as a close-knitted family five times a week contributes to a healthy body with minimal risk of being obese or overweight. This sets the stage for good health. What are the other positive changes in children who eat together with their family members? To find your answers, just log on to www.firsteatright.com.
No age is too early to start teaching table etiquette.
When people come together for a meal, children don’t hesitate much to try new foods at the table and they get much more familiar with table manners. Children should be taught to convey their dislike to a certain food in a polite and subtle manner. Nutritionists/dietitians recommend parents to allow their kids to excuse themselves and leave in the middle of the meal instead of interrupting the meal because of their restlessness and impatience to sit through the whole meal.
Remember to correct any inappropriate table manners in a smooth and ingenious way. Keep it a point to explain the nature behind every rule or manner taught, such as the reason for spreading a napkin on our lap or chewing the food with our mouth closed.
Nutritionists notify that every person seated at the table should be involved in a positive conversation which is lighthearted and enjoyable. But remember not to make it too relaxed as parents are involved in teaching good habits seated at the same table.
Even small kids, as young as 3 years old, can contribute in their small way possible to set the dinner table. Bear in mind to have no elbows at the table and a definite ‘no’ to phones or text messages.
Good table manners by everyone in the family is one way of showing their respect for the household which makes meal time a pleasure for every person seated at the table. It is something that can be done well be everyone.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.