Start at Home:
Both experts agree that sitting for meals as a family at home is wonderful practice for restaurant trips. Aim for at least once a week when you can teach meal manners during home meals. Work on, placing a napkin on your lap, eating with utensils (not hands!), talking to each other, not burping, eating with their mouth closed, and not scurrying from the table when the food is done.
Teach Proper Etiquette:
1. Keep mouth closed while eating: “Address the matter with kindness,” says Elerding. “Let them know they have permission to take their time when they are eating and asked to answer a question.”
2. Stop burping: Remind them to quietly say, “Excuse me” and move on. Everyone else at the table should not draw attention to the noise and act as if nothing happened, or you might receive a belch symphony.
3. Wait to eat: Talk about this respectful rule before you arrive at the restaurant. If the last person waiting for her dish gives permission for everyone else to start, it’s perfectly fine to pick up your fork and begin. Make it a game and have everyone sit on their hands until all plates are served.
Make Eating a Healthy Adventure: Reviewing the menu as a family can start a conversation about healthy eating. Can your son pick out the veggie with the most vitamin B? Which entree does he think would be the unhealthiest, Talk about good eating habits and agree to order an app or side dish for the family to share that’s super good for you or one that has a food no one has tried before.
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