1. Set the table together: it gives children the chance to practise arranging spaces and helps their parents with the running of the home.
  2. Show them how to sit properly at the table: make sure they sit up straight and keep their elbows by their sides (never on the table). They shouldn’t rock on their chairs, encroach on the space of those around them or disturb people by shouting and throwing tantrums. In a restaurant, they should not leave the table without asking their parents for permission first.
  3. Get them into the habit of waiting for everyone to be served before they start eating.
  4. They shouldn’t play with their food or the items on the table. If you’re going to a restaurant, it might be a good idea to take some colouring books with you to keep them entertained while you wait for your meal.
  5. Teach them how to use their cutlery properly, with the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right (or the other way around if they are left-handed). They should lift up the food towards their mouths with the cutlery, rather than moving their faces closer to the plate! At the end of the meal, they should place their cutlery neatly on their plates.
  6. Get them accustomed to trying everything: tastes change over time and it’s a good idea to teach them to be adventurous with food and appreciate everything, including dishes that might seem less appetizing.
  7. Break bread above the plate rather than the table cloth because any crumbs should always fall on the former.
  8. When they are helping themselves to food from serving dishes, they should always check that there is enough for everyone.
  9. They should eat with their mouths closed and try to do it quietly.
  10. If you go out for a meal, remember to say hello to the staff when you arrive and goodbye when you leave.