Feeding can be very tricky. Let us help you master it!
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Well, during mealtime, we eat in the classroom in a family style arrangement. The children are responsible for setting the tables. They have to place the trays and the napkins and spoons and everything we need. Then they take the individual bowls of food to the table. We don't allow chairs tipped back. I'll ask them if they need to be scooted up sometimes and they think they do so nothing goes into their laps. So they're learning a little bit of etiquette, it's not so formal that their behavior is not acceptable. But when children have unacceptable behavior, at the table, they're excused from the table until they can, just kind of like a time-out. You would have a playtime until they're ready to come to the table and sit with the behavior that's acceptable at mealtime. Some of them refuse to eat lunch for a long time or breakfast because it doesn't necessarily look like the food their mother cooks. After a while, they may start to eat. It becomes a nice social time when they talk to each other and have conversations while lunch is going on or the breakfast. The reason that the children serve themselves is that they're learning self-help skills at school. That's one of the other things we do so that they can function independently. If they have a spill at lunchtime, they also are responsible for cleaning it up. At this time of the year we may have to come behind them and clean it up. But by practicing the steps to stop the spill and to clean it up, later on in the year, they'll be quite adapted to cleaning up their own spills.