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Mealtime environment

Sitting at the Table

It is important to consider where your child sits to eat. It affects their stability and balance to allow them to use their hands effectively, just as it does for writing. Otherwise we put a lot of effort into sitting and this can distract (even subconsciously) from what we are trying to do.

It also impacts on the social aspects of meal times, as well as the skill development. For many busy families today mealtimes can be a great time to catch up on everyone’s news, share what you have been up to.

Sitting at a dining table allows your child to be part of the group and enjoy the social benefits of eating together. It also aids skill development as they can watch how you hold your cutlery, lift your cup etc. You can model for them, and sitting side by side or opposite your child is a good way to do this.

Things to consider

If sitting at the table together is not an option, a child height table and chair again gives your child a stable balanced position to work from.  This can be a nice option when there are a few children of similar size in a family and can eat together, again enjoying the social aspect of mealtimes.

If you tend to sit on the sofa or floor to eat it’s also important to consider a stable position, and how easy it is to manoeuvre crockery and utensils.  Ensure there is enough space around your child so they don’t get bumped when eating.

two young people standing next to each other. One is wearing a backpack