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Mealtime Routines

Mealtime routines hold a special place in family life. They are a great time for the family to come together and talk. They are also a wonderful way to teach kids important mealtime manners. From preparation to clean up, kids can be involved in every aspect of the mealtime routine.

Cooking with Kids - Preparing the Meal

Young children love to help. Take advantage of this by encouraging your child to help prepare and/or serve family meals. Teach him to set the table or place serving dishes (not too hot!). He can also help you retrieve ingredients from the cabinets and refrigerator when you're preparing the meal, and do some mixing or safe cooking.

Family Time During the Meal

Busy families sometimes find that mealtimes are the only time they have to touch base with each other. Make sure to make mealtimes sharing time by asking your child about his day.

Good Manners

Without formal mealtimes, how would your child learn table manners? While sharing a meal, teach your child about proper table manners, polite dinner conversation, etc. Sure, it's ok to let them have fun, but make sure that your kids know how to behave as well.

Kids Cleaning Up

There's no reason why even small children can't help clean up after dinner. Whether it's clearing the entire table or just being responsible for taking his own plate to the kitchen, your child can, and should, bear some of the clean up responsibilities. A chore chart can help get little one's understanding what's expected of them. Mealtimes are often neglected and highly underrated. Families, not matter what size, should make sitting around a table at meal time a priority.