Table manners are taught at TK. Our goal is to eat together as a group, learn to be considerate of others, and have a relaxed environment for eating our meals. Some of the ways we accomplish this includes:
We always wash our hands before beginning a meal.
We wait for everyone to be seated before we say “Thank You” as a group, and then we all begin eating at the same time.
Usually an adult sits at the table with the children during mealtimes.
We keep our elbows off of the table, and keep our food above the table.
Saying nice things about the food served is encouraged. Complimenting the chef is encouraged. If we don’t like a food, we simply don’t eat it. Saying “EEwwww, that’s gross” or similar comments will not be allowed.
We never try to beg, coerce, or threaten a child to get them to eat something they don’t want to eat. See page EATING DISORDERS for an explanation.
Quiet conversation is allowed, but excessive talking is not. Talking excessively and eating are mutually exclusive, since we aren’t allowed to talk when our mouth is full.
No “horseplay” is allowed, ever.
We may ask for seconds only if all of our firsts are finished. We will be required to eat all of our seconds if we ask for them.
We may never touch anyone else’s food, or put any of our food on any one else’s plate.
“Wolfing” our food down, eating too fast, or racing to finish first, is not healthy and is discouraged.
A child who chooses not to eat anything will have to wait at the table until at least one person has finished eating their meal before they may be excused.
We may raise our hand and ask to be excused when we are finished with our meal and we have finished our milk (or water, at snack time). When we are excused then we may throw our trash in the trash tray in the center of the table, and then stack our dishes and utensils to the side of the trash tray. In the case of snack, we throw our trash in the trash tray, and then we stack our empty water cup on the cup rack.
We always brush our teeth after meals.
If a child breaks a rule, then our first response is to teach and reteach (see DISCIPLINE). If that doesn’t work, the child may be asked to eat by themselves in another room.