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Family table rules

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Just curious as to what your table rules are?  Basically, we request that everyone at least try everything on their plate.  You can't say you don't like what you haven't tried.  And then you can leave the table.  Its not working so great anymore these days, so curious as to what other people do.

post #2 of 22

We have a few:

 

sit down until you're done eating

chew with your mouth shut

no "this is gross/looks yucky/etc"

you must taste everything on your plate

use your untensils/napkin

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Those are my dream rules!  How old are your kids?  Do they comply mostly?

 

post #4 of 22
  • four on the floor
  • napkins on your lap
  • elbows off the table
  • politeness (no eeew/gross etc)

 

That's it for real rules. I prefer no cartons/boxes on the table for dinner and prefer no raunchy/potty talk humor but heck I have nine year old boy so that seems to come with the territory, LOL!

 

We have no food rules. I hold to the adage that it is my "job" to make healthy meals and snacks and it is my child's "job" to eat (or not) as they see fit.

 

Food is only a small  part of our families meal time focus. The major focus is reconnecting, catching up, etc. No worries if a kids skips a meal, doesn't clean his plate or doesn't try everything. 

post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharr610 View Post

Those are my dream rules!  How old are your kids?  Do they comply mostly?

 

 

Mostly.  They're almost 5 and 9.  My younger son won't say things look gross, but he'll only nibble at his food.  Which is fine.  My 9 year old is apparently an open mouth eater at school so he needs lots of reminders to chew with his mouth shut.  He used to be much better at it so it makes me crazy.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

  • four on the floor
  • napkins on your lap
  • elbows off the table
  • politeness (no eeew/gross etc)

 

That's it for real rules. I prefer no cartons/boxes on the table for dinner and prefer no raunchy/potty talk humor but heck I have nine year old boy so that seems to come with the territory, LOL!

 

We have no food rules. I hold to the adage that it is my "job" to make healthy meals and snacks and it is my child's "job" to eat (or not) as they see fit.

 

Food is only a small  part of our families meal time focus. The major focus is reconnecting, catching up, etc. No worries if a kids skips a meal, doesn't clean his plate or doesn't try everything. 


I like these too!  My kids are much younger(4 and 1 almost), so the babe has no real rules yet.  But my 4 yo is a notoriously bad eater.  He can eat as much/as little as he wants, but we do want him to try things.  I guess I feel its polite, although, it does seem to bring a power struggle to the table which is the last thing he needs when he already has food issues.  Maybe we should let it go...Getting him to stay at the table is trouble too.  He often eats/tries quickly so he can leave and then tries to bother us the rest of the meal.  Its just not FUN.  I want meal times to be enjoyable for everyone and we are for sure missing that boat.

 

post #7 of 22

My dd is 3.5. She would skip dinner to play, then be hungry at bedtime, so these are our rules:

 

  • Everyone sits at the table during dinner time, until we are all done eating
  • No toys at the table
  • You don't need to eat or taste anything, but you do need to sit and be pleasant
  • If it's on the table, you may have as much or little of it as you want (never "you must eat this to eat that")
  • If you don't want what we cooked, your other choice is nuts and plain kefir
  • If you are hungry after dinner time, you may eat nuts and/or kefir
post #8 of 22

Various Rules  - my kids are now 13 & 15

 

We generally put the food in serving dishes in the center of the table and people choose from it. Usually it's rice, a vegetable, and one other dish. A lot of our meat or fish is still on the bone.

 

* Don't start until everyone is sitting and grace is said (unless given permission, which is "say your own grace")

* Napkin in lap

* No elbows on the table

* Chew with your mouth closed

* Reading is OK at breakfast, at other meals only by explicit permission

* Vegetables *must* be consumed

* Don't take the last of something without checking to see if anyone else wants any

* Do not leave bones, gristle or skin directly on the table. Put bones etc. in a bone-bowl or leave in your own rice bowl on the side of your plate (if you have one).

* Try to keep the conversation pleasant - not disgusting or acrimonious

* If too many people try to talk at once, we get out the talking stick to take turns

 

post #9 of 22

My son is 3.  Our rules are no toys at the table, no eating until everyone is served and we've prayed, must ask to be excused before leaving the table.  That's it.  No rules surrounding the food itself, just behaviour at the table.

post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Amy~ View Post

My son is 3.  Our rules are no toys at the table, no eating until everyone is served and we've prayed, must ask to be excused before leaving the table.  That's it.  No rules surrounding the food itself, just behaviour at the table.



Those are our rules.  Our kids are 6, 4 and 1.  Oh also, if you ask for more milk, you need to finish the food on your plate.  The 4-year-old would be happy to live off of almond milk if we let him.

post #11 of 22
I don't have any rules about trying stuff, or eating what's on your plate. Our rules focus on manners and cleanliness, and respect for others:
1. use utensils (once you arrive at an appropriate age)
2. don't interrupt-- conversation means one person talks at a time, and you say excuse me if you must interrupt
3. you may eat or not eat, whatever you please from what's on offer, but you may not whine or complain or use phrases like yuck to describe the food
4. you can get down when you're done, but you can't come back a whole bunch of times (except for going to the bathroom-- DD2 has a chronic need to have BMs ten minutes into her dinner.... eyesroll.gif) when you get down, you go out of the room and find something else to do-- you can't hang around annoying people
5. use please and thank you and the other niceties of reasonable politeness
6. if you drop something, pick it up; use a napkin; try hard not to spill, and help clean up if you do spill
7. if you don't like the food, that's fine; there are vegetables and fruit and yogurt in the kitchen, and you can go get them if you want, provided you follow rule #3
8. No reading at dinner. I tolerate breakfast and lunch reading, because I'm just as guilty.
9. If you don't like something, push it to the edge of your plate; don't leave it on the tablecloth
10. Keep your hands and feet to yourself and don't be excessively silly.

and we just added a new one: you may not eat directly out of serving dishes, or handle the food in serving dishes with your hands-- no picking through for just the parts you like-- serve it to your plate, and THEN eat it.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone for the great replies.  We took away the taste your food rule and will be introducing serving dishes soon.  Just taking away the tasting rule made everything so much better!  

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharr610 View Post

Thanks, everyone for the great replies.  We took away the taste your food rule and will be introducing serving dishes soon.  Just taking away the tasting rule made everything so much better!  


Doesn't it??  Now meal time can be nice and not a power struggle over food!

 

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Seriously.  We had nursing issues from day 1.  He went from the 95th percentile to the 5th in 8 months as a babe and as a result i have always been so scared about him eating enough.  DH comes fom a "clean your plate" family.  we are learning to let go and ds is already tasting new foods on his own and eating so much better!  yey!

post #15 of 22

1. no feet on the table

2. don't feed the dog

3. if you want something on someone plate ask, don't just grab it

4. I would like it if you would try everything, even if you think you don't like it (I'm not willing to make a battle out of this, but so far it's been ok)

 

My kids are 2.5 and 7 months, but tbh honest 3 and 4 are for me too .bag.gif

post #16 of 22

Our rules are:

Sit with your butt on the chair and feet under the table

Use your utensils, not fingers (this doesn't apply to the baby!)

Eat what is on your plate and then ask for seconds

Try everything...I don't make nasty stuff, so take at least a bite

Ask to be excused before you leave

Scrape your plate in the garbage and bring it to the sink

 

post #17 of 22

The kids I care for have these rules with me :

 

  • Everybody is present (to the best of their ability) all together, for at least 15-20 minutes
  • We will prepare only healthy whole foods. Participation in doing such is always welcome but never forced.
  • Only you know what your body needs right now. We will eat what we want of what's on the table, in the quantities that we want - there's no hierarchy on the food options or food rules.
  • After dinner, or during dinner if we like, we may have leftovers or the whole foods options from our "snack tray" - raw chopped fruit, veggies, nuts, etc
  • Respect to your friends and family. Everybody gets a chance to talk, even the baby.
  • Nothing gets thrown out. We compost, eat or reuse all the leftovers.

 

Optional:

 

  • We like to set the table for stuffed animals, plant friends, imaginary friends, etc.
  • I also like to put surprise notes under their plates or place mats
  • Sometimes we put butcher paper down instead of a table cloth and color together after 10-15 minutes of food-focus.
  • We try to have a special "centerpiece" for every meal. Perhaps dandelions from outside in a special vase or a creation you made earlier.

 

 

 

post #18 of 22

The rules only apply when everyone is present: Me, DH, and DD (27 mos.)

 

1. No feet on the table.

2. No talking about oozing sores, constipation, Legionaire's Disease, etc. at the table.

 

That's basically it for now.

 

When I was a kid, there were more rules.  The only unusual ones I can think of are that everyone must wear a shirt to dinner and remove his/her hat, sunglasses, and ear phones. 

post #19 of 22

No complaints about food looking unappealing, no taking seconds unless you've already eaten everything you took in the first place, scrape your plate and put it in the sink when you're done, if you don't like what's for dinner, make yourself toast or grab some cereal without complaining.  No reading at the table (but they sneak it in), no toys at the table.  The kids eat separately from us and not always together so there aren't really set mealtimes.  But generally I have a "dinner" ready for them and at least three are sitting down eating.

post #20 of 22
I've just instituted a rule that nobody may come to the dinner table naked. I had to institute this, after a rather unappealing incident involving stew that spilled on DD2's lap, which resulted in a very soft carrot somehow becoming squashed in her little vulva, and I had to clean it out for her. So now, everybody is required to at least wear underpants and a shirt to the table. eyesroll.gif

Also, lately we've been banning discussion of feces and vomit at the table.
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