The Eatiquette program is a growing trend which embraces the family-style dining approach within schools. While large platters of food passed around community tables may seem passé, it provides schools an opportunity to instill many valuable lessons in young people, such as cooperation and sharing, table manners, and even portion control.

Private New England academies Westminster School and Miss Porter’s School utilize this style for select meals during the week as a tradition that reinforces the close-knit community environment of the schools.

Additionally, it promotes social interaction between students and teaches respect for co-diners and food. The family-style events are self-managed by team work, with students serving their tables and bussing their wares.

Family-style dining is a beneficial and impactful educational tool for food awareness and healthy eating, too. As dishes are handed around the table, students meet options for trying foods that they might overlook in a typical cafeteria-style line.

The students also learn to “take less and waste less,” which not only promotes smaller portions, but also reduces food waste. Additionally, this dining manner highlights fresh, healthy, made-from-scratch meals in a familiar home-style setting for the students. Eatiquette programs are giving exciting new life to K-12 programs, further emphasizing that the dining experience matters!