Our guidelines for good manners around the table

“Mom, can we ask Ethan why he was late?”

My eldest piped up with this question around our Sunday dinner table, while sitting across from the named guest. I remember trying to silence him with a look, and then muttering something along the lines of “we’ll talk about it later.”

Ah, kids. They certainly aren’t born with manners. It’s up to us, the parents, to teach them until they grow up and begin to grasp the meaning of tact and diplomacy. A most interesting discussion on the Simple Bites Facebook page a while ago encouraged me to write down and share our guidelines for good manners.

We strive to teach good behaviour around our table, but, boy, is it a work in progress. I’ve learned to heap on encouragement, striving to give 5 times the praise for each reprimand or instruction. Some nights it feels impossible to find anything good to say, but the children perk up with the praise and noticeably try harder.

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Serving healthy food to your child and still struggling? Here’s why. (giveaway)

Editor’s note: Please welcome Maryann from Raise Healthy Eaters blog as my guest poster today.

Jane served her child (Lila) homemade baby food and let her eat off of her plate. By the time Lila was two, she ate practically everything. But as she approached three, it seemed like a switch turned off and she became more selective and started whining constantly for sweets. Jane didn’t want to bribe her daughter with dessert but it seemed the only way she could get her to eat vegetables and protein. She felt horrible.

The reason health-conscious parents like Jane struggle is because feeding kids healthy food is only part of what it takes to be successful with feeding. When parents run into feeding challenges it’s not their fault, it’s just they haven’t learned to expect them at each stage of development. For example, Jane had a ton of information on feeding babies but when her daughter became a toddler everything changed and she simply wasn’t prepared.

To help prepare parents we wrote the bible on child nutrition:Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School. Our Fearless Feeding strategy helps make feeding kids a source of joy, not fear. This strategy consists of the following three components: what to feed, how to feed and why children act the way they do around food. Let’s take a look.

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