Table Manners for Kids

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Rules for Eating

1. Eat with a fork unless the food is meant to be eaten with fingers. Only babies eat with fingers.

2. Don’t stuff your mouth full of food, it looks bad, and you could choke.

3. Chew with your mouth closed. No one wants to see food being chewed up or hearing it being chomped on. This includes no talking with your mouth full.

4. Don’t make any rude comments about any food being served. It will hurt someone’s feelings.

5. Always say thank you when served something. Show appreciation.

6. If the meal is not buffet style, then wait until everyone is served before eating. It shows consideration, and you will not finish ahead of the others.

7. Eat slowly, don’t gobble up the food. Someone took a long time to prepare the food, enjoy it slowly. Slowly means to wait about 5 seconds after swallowing before getting another forkful.

8. When eating rolls, break off a piece of bread before buttering. Eating a whole piece of bread looks tacky.

9. Don’t reach over someone’s plate for something. Instead, ask for the item to be passed to you.

10. Do not pick anything out of your teeth, it’s gross. If it bothers you that bad, excuse yourself and go to the restroom to pick.

11. Always use a napkin to dab your mouth, which should be on your lap when not in use. Remember, dab your mouth only. Do not wipe your face or blow your nose with a napkin—both are very bad manners. Excuse yourself from the table and go the restroom to do those things.

12. When eating at someone’s home or a guest of someone at a restaurant, always thank the host and tell them how delicious it was, even if it wasn’t. Again, someone took time, energy, and expense to prepare the food, so show your appreciation.

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