What Are Family-Style Meals?
At Happy Hall Schools, children and staff sit in small groups during meals. Children participate, based on their individual development, in setup, serving, and cleanup.
What Happens When We Eat Family-Style?
Eating family-style provides many opportunities for children to practice fine motor skills, using utensils, pouring beverages, serving food, and cleaning up the occasional spill.
Children use cooperation and patience when passing dishes and waiting for their turn, often using language that supports their goal of sharing a meal.
Children practice language skills as they participate in conversations with both peers and teachers, taking turns speaking about the days events, telling a silly story, or sharing a special memory.
Family-style meals encourage children to try new foods, often taking cues from their peers who are enjoying their meal.
Counting, sorting, and categorizing are all a part of setup, serving, eating, and cleanup, providing an excellent opportunity to practice math and science.