- Come to the table with everything you need.
- Sit on the side of the person where they can best pay attention.
- Talk to the person about what is going on; tell them what meal it is and what is on the plate; ask if they want that particular food item; let them know what you are doing.
- Use the appropriate size spoon.
- Raise the spoon to a level where the person can see it.
- Give the person enough time to open their mouth.
- If the person can bring their hand up to their mouth, let them wipe their own mouth, or provide subtle help.
- Offer drinks regularly to moisten the mouth, wash food down and provide hydration.
- Complete a meal with appropriate closing remarks.
- Walk away from a person once mealtime has begun unless you excuse yourself.
- Speak in conversation that does not include the person.
- Give a person food you have not identified first.
- Put too much food on the spoon - if a lot remains on the person’s lips you probably have.
- Mix foods together unless you know that is what the person likes.
- Hover a spoon in front of a person.
- Use a spoon to scrape food off a person’s lips, teeth or gums.
- Use a bib to wipe a person’s mouth.
- Pack up and walk away at the end of a meal without acknowledgement.
Reviewed 18 February 2016