As this famous saying goes, we as parents turn out to be role models for the children, affecting their little minds by whatever we do. Teaching children is not easy, but it’s not impossible either. Children are quick to make out how we react, act, deal with different situation or things.
How and what the children eat depends upon what has been taught by their parents. The healthy or unhealthy habits, likes and dislikes, table manners, correct posture, and the general mental attitude towards food, depends solely upon the children’s upbringing. It all comes down to what we teach children – isn’t it?
Various cultures may have different ways of eating food. However, teaching children the right way is what really matters. Generally, the family gathers around the dining table, sits together, and enjoys the prepared meal. The plates, napkins, forks, knives, spoons etc are laid out, followed by the food being served.
Teaching children to eat properly thus begins when the children are infants, where they observe each step you make while eating food. It could be the way you take a bite into your mouth, chew with your mouth closed, eat slowly, sit erect etc. Thus, we are the role models of our children.
How to Teach Children to Eat Properly
What needs to be taught to the children, right when they are infants, to the time they learn to eat properly could be chalked out as under –
- Wash your hands and sit erect on the dining table, without any other distractions like the TV etc.
- Pour small amounts of food at a time, and ensure whatever is taken in the plate is finished.
- Use a fork and knife whenever needed.
- Learn to use the napkin properly.
- Take small bites and chew the food properly, with your mouth closed.
- Do not speak with a mouth full, and avoid speaking too much while eating.
- Avoid taking water in between meals.
- Do not discriminate the food, and make faces at the food served.
- Learn to take a serving of every dish that is served on the table.
- Use the polite words like ‘thanks you’, ‘please’, ‘sorry’, whenever needed.
- Help serve others food and water around, while you are served food or water.
- Do not lick your fingers after finishing your food; instead wash your hands after your meal.
- Learn to keep your fork, knife, and napkin properly after your meal.
- Wait for everyone to finish their meal before getting up.
- Learn to excuse yourself from the table in-case you are getting up before the others have finished.
- Leave your chair without making a noise or disturbing others.
- Help clean and clear up the table. Help parents store the leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Lastly learn to appreciate and thank your mother, cook, or whoever has made the food.
Children are never too old to learn. The teaching process should continue and we as parents need to help them learn the correct eating etiquette Once you teach children to eat properly, it will be beneficial for them when they dine in hotels, restaurants, in school, or when they are with friends and relatives.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Abraham Lincoln.
Just as Lincoln has said, we as parents have to take charge of our children and make them into well mannered individuals, to be able to face tomorrows world with confidence and courage.
Over to you –
Are you good at teaching children to eat their food or meals properly? What do you do to make them learn the right ways? Share in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Anita Patterson