Mealtime manners

Fun with food

Pretend the Queen is coming to dinner! You’ll need to practice this list of mealtime manners.

Goal: Learning basic manners.

Pretend the Queen (or someone equally important) is coming to dinner. The menu is not significant, as the focus should be on how the food is eaten and on finer points of conduct.

Depending on the age of your children, introduce appropriate manners for them to follow. This is a basic list. Add to it as you desire:

  • Begin every meal by thanking God for your food.
  • Remember to say, “Please” and “Thank you.”
  • Sit straight on your chair without rocking it.
  • Wait for everyone to be seated and served before you start eating.
  • At the beginning of the meal, place your napkin in your lap, and use it to wipe your mouth and hands.
  • Use your fork and spoon to eat food unless it is finger food. If you are unsure, ask.
  • Put only bite-sized pieces into your mouth. Eat like a bunny, not a wolf.
  • Chew with your mouth closed. Chew quietly. Be careful not to slurp.
  • Speak when your mouth is empty. Speak quietly.
  • Ask politely for food to be passed instead of reaching across the table.
  • Before helping yourself to the last portion of food, ask if anyone else would like it, or would like to share it with you.
  • If bodily functions occur during a meal such as burping, passing gas, sneezing or coughing, these things should be done as quietly and discreetly as possible. If necessary, excuse yourself from the table to not disturb others who are eating.
  • Be kind to others at the table. Do not complain about the food to be respectful of those who prepared the food.
  • End every meal by asking to be excused, taking your dishes to the sink and thanking the person who made the meal.