Skill 11: Table Talk

When your grandparents were kids, there would have rarely been a night when they didn’t sit with their family around a dining table to share a home-cooked meal and stories from their day. In some homes, weekend breakfasts or lunches – often cooked like dinner, taking hours, not minutes – would have been spent together too.

At these family meals a set of rules passed down over generations would guide how people would eat and interact with one another. These rules were called table etiquette, put more simply – good manners!

These days, lots of families don’t eat together very often and meal times have become so much faster. The rules have become looser too. But nutritionists now think there was some kind of healthy magic in those old-school food rituals that futuristic families like yours could really benefit from.


  • Set the table with the right cutlery for your meal along with serviettes and water glasses (serviette and fork on the left and knives and spoons on the right).
  • Serve others before you serve yourself.
  • Eat slowly and enjoy your meal, it’s not a race!
  • Come to the table with a smile and be ready to share news about your day. Enjoy listening to the other people at the table.
  • Thank those who prepared the meal for you.
  • Listen to your parents when they tell you to eat your vegetables or try something new!
  • Offer to clear the table or wash up for bonus points


  • Start eating before everyone is seated.
  • Speak with your mouth full.
  • Use your fingers when eating.
  • Leave the table until everyone has finished.
  • Use your phone or watch television while eating at the table.
  • Bring toys to the table.
  • Play with your food.