"Don't play with your food!"
"Elbows off the table!"
"Use your utensils!"
"Napkin in your lap!"
These are things we've all heard before. The basic "table manners" that many parents enforce are pretty simple. And by the time you're a teen chef, you've got them down. But, when you show up at the cafeteria in middle school or high school, there are a new set of rules, and many kids can't seem to figure them out. This is our list of DON'Ts for cafeteria etiquette- it's not that hard, people! Study up.
- Please avoid pungent or smelly food choices! We love our tuna fish sammich just as much as the next girl, but please, save it for after school. Foods such as hard boiled eggs, fish, and the like are not cool. But by all means, bring the thing that does smell good, even if the smell is strong. Just think about whether it may smell good to you, it might not to your friends. Rule of Thumb: If the smell up close isn't pleasurable, leave it at home.
- Do not make negative comments about others' food. Even if it is smelly, just leave it alone. Everyone likes different foods! Some people are more adventurous eaters and go for spices, and are willing to try something new in their school lunch. This doesn't mean you should comment saying "That looks disgusting." or even worse, "What is that?". If they thought the same, it's unlikely they would have brought it for lunch. Same goes for people who like the same foods everyday in their lunch, or like simple foods like PB & J. Don't say "Why don't you mix it up?", "You always have the same thing!", or "Don't you want to try something more interesting some time?". Its unnecessary, and even if you don't mean it in a bad way, it can always be taken as that. Comments about other's food tend to be offensive and rude, and they discourage people from eating healthy and trying new things, which is what this blog is all about! Rule of Thumb: Keep the comments to yourself, positive or negative. It's just easier that way!
- Include people who don't have people to sit with, and sit with different people sometimes. We all hate sitting alone at lunch. It's lonely and it feels really sad. Invite someone over to sit with you guys and make conversation to help them feel included. Make sure you do it casually, so they don't think they are doing it because they feel bad for you. Let them know that they are always welcome to sit with you the next day, too! Make sure to talk to these people in your classes too, because chances are if they are alone at lunch, they are alone in their classes too. Rule of Thumb: If they are sitting alone, looking down or doing homework at lunch, invite them to sit with you!
Two Teen Chefs