Building Healthy Communities for Our Kids-MainPhoto

5. Table Talk
When it comes to table manners, there’s a lot to remember. Davidds-Wright’s essentials include keeping elbows off the table and napkins on laps, chewing with a closed mouth, sitting up straight, and refraining from interrupting the grownups at the table. Other tips you might not have thought of? “Once silverware leaves the table, it never touches the table again,” says Davidds-Wright. Any used silverware gets placed on one’s plate. Another common infraction is the dreaded “I don’t like it, so I’m going to spit it out” maneuver, which can ruin the appetite of any non-parental dining companion not used to such shenanigans. Discuss this possibility with your little ones ahead of time. “If they chew on something they do not like… they place it in their napkin from their mouth very discreetly then ask for another napkin,” advises Davidds-Wright. To avoid turning every meal into an etiquette drill instruction, keep in mind that practice makes perfect and that each family dining experience is also an opportunity for your children to move closer to mastering exceptional table etiquette.