The words “kids” and “table manners” are hardly go together. Whether you have a toddler who delights in making a mess; a preschooler who spends more time running around than eating; or a school-ager who gobbles and runs back to his video games, there are plenty of ways to get your kids to learn table manners.
While kids by age 7 should be well versed in table manners, they’re the ones who bring their iPads to the table, grunt in response to questions, and eat as fast as possible to get back to whatever’s on TV or their video game.
To ensure good manners, get your older kids to start acting like grown-ups at the table by having them place their napkins on their laps, encouraging them to use their cutlery properly, and by teaching them not to dig in before everyone has been served.
The other thing kids have in common is being picky eaters who complain about the meal they’re served. We suggest that you involve your kids in cooking a meal.
Cooking can help kids learn and practice some basic math concepts and build language skills. The experience of creating meals can help build their self-confidence and lay the foundation for healthy eating habits. Kids are notoriously picky eaters, and bringing them into the kitchen to cook can help get them to open up to new tastes. Working in the kitchen provides opportunities to gain a sense of accomplishment and foster an interest in food and cooking that will last for life. As children learn to cook, they are learning a powerful tool to take control of their own health.