Entering to a full-day program allows our two-year-olds to show great independence and ownership while carrying on self-help skills and developing manners at the table in social a social context.
Sharing lunch at the table with other 11 peers and only the guidance and supervision of two adults at the table is a perfect setting to practice these skills while socializing and motivating each other to continue always doing our best.
It is nice to see the children comparing their lunches, making connections about the food their eating, sharing when a friend brings one of their favorites.
Before sitting at the table, the children go through a whole routine that leads them to be ready to eat their meal. This routine includes steps such as:
- Using the toilet before eating to avoid leaving the table before finishing their meal with emergencies.
- Washing their hands to make sure they are clean before touching their food.
- Grabbing their own lunch box either from home or cafeteria and cutlery from the corresponding basket or crate.
- Bringing their food to the table.
- Opening the boxes independently and starting to eat independently.
Some of the manners at the table we are practicing are:
- Sitting down properly, keeping the knees under the table and the back straight against the back of the table. (this position is also for safety avoiding choking hazards).
- Using their cutlery to eat unless they have finger food such as pizza, sandwich, etc.
- Keeping a clean spot when eating by moving their body closer to the table and the box closer to their body.
- Tidying up their space after they have finished eating.
- Putting their eating containers back to the corresponding place.
- Eating in a proper time frame.
At this point, the children still get support by:
- Opening containers that are challenging when they need support.
- Cutting out pieces of food that are too big for them to eat independently.
- Mixing food when they request help with it.
- Any other support or guidance the children might need after they have tried to do the task independently.
All the children are encouraged to eat vegetables and proteins before finishing their food. They usually hear avoid the important nutrition these food groups bring to their body like supporting the growth of muscles and supplying fiber to clean the body. The children are not required to finish all their food being excused to leave the table after a sufficient portion.