Lunchtime routines are great time for learning social graces and gaining independence. Children are usually outside before lunch and then come and wash their hands and sit at the table. Will use real plates utensils and cups.
( old picture )
During meal times is an excellent time to sit and visit with children. Many times children are not used to sitting at a table and having conversation. All of our lives are so rushed that meals are spent in front of the TV or in the back of the car.
We do not force children to eat. We strongly encourage them to finish their milk so they do get some protein and it’s not just poured down the sink. We talk about the things that are on the plate. What is a vegetable, what is the protein, what is the grain. If someone says I’m not eating this we just remind them that they will be hungry later.
We also encourage positive language around lunch time. If a child says I do not like this we say ” have you tried it? ” If they have we say ” oh, 🤔you don’t like it yet!” That leaves it open to the possibility in the future a second chance.
After meals every child picks up their plate scrapes the remainder food into the garbage and carries their utensils to the sink for cleaning. This is something that every child his age can do at home. I believe chores help children to feel more independent and promote a belonging in the family.