Meals are times for conversation and language development as well as times to enjoy healthy food. To turn meals into teaching and learning times, sit with the children and eat some of the same foods that they are eating.
Use words to name the foods and dishes: “I put some applesauce in this bowl for you. I put the cracker on your plate.”
Encourage the children to communicate with you as you share a meal: “Do you like the banana? Can you show me the bread?”
Use meals to communicate about the child’s day, too. Sing a bit of a song or chant a nursery rhyme and say something like, “I liked it when we sang that earlier today.” Talk about what will happen later in the day: “After this, we can wash our hands and then we can play with the blocks.”
Allow plenty of time for meals so children do not feel rushed.
Allow children to eat as much or as little as they wish so meals are pleasant times.
Times shown are Pacific Standard Time. If you are in Central or Eastern Time, you will need to adjust the time accordingly.
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