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What is Family Style Dining?


Family style dining is when children and teaching staff sit together at a table for a meal or snack. This practice helps children make healthy food choices based on observing positive attitudes from the teaching staff. An educational opportunity required by Head Start Program Performance Standards, family style dining is a recognized CACFP meal service option.

With this type of meal service, the teaching staff models and develops key concepts for children including:

  • Opportunities to try new foods and politely decline food they have tasted and don't enjoy yet

  • Understanding appropriate use of utensils

  • Assistance with setting and cleaning the table after the meal

Other benefits include:

  • Improved motor skills

  • Improved self-confidence

  • Expanded social skills

  • Practice using proper table manners

Meals will include a variety of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and less added sugar and saturated fat as defined by Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and in partnership with Our Daily Bread. 

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