Contact Information

Dianna Kifer, Director
610 Middle River Road
Middle River, MD  21220
P: 410-682-6462
F: 410-682-8996
Send us an Email.

Church Contacts:

Pastor Glenn Leatherman
610 Middle River Road
Middle River, MD  21220
P: 410-686-8810
Send the church an Email.


We are closed:

January 1, 2018
February 19, 2018
March 30, 2017
April 2, 2018
May 28, 2018
July 4, 2018
August 17, 2018
September 3, 2018
November 22, 2018
November 23, 2018
December 24, 2018
December 25, 2018

Family-Style Dining

What is family-style dining? When families gather for a meal, the family contributes to every aspect of the meal, from preparing the food, to setting the table, to dishing out food, and then cleaning up.

At MRBCDC, each of our classrooms serves meals and snacks family-style. Children help to prepare the table with plates, napkins, cups, and utensils. The food comes in bowls which are passed around the table, with each person taking from the bowl their serving of food. At the table, children are encouraged to serve themselves, try new foods, and converse with their friends. After the meal, children help clean up. 

Not every room serves in exactly the same way. Our toddlers do not pass the bowl around the table; however, each child is encouraged to do what they can to serve themselves.

As the children are sitting at the table and eating their meal, the teacher sits with them. The time is used for conversation and for teaching of social skills. 

This method of serving meals has advantages over cafeteria methods in many ways:

  1. Children learn and practice social skills such as taking turns, passing food to others, helping, and saying "please" and "thank you." There is opportunity to practice cooperation and respect.
  2. Children learn and practice good table manners. Everyone serves himself (or receives assistance as needed).
  3. Children gain experience in measuring and counting. Sammy counts our two cookies for snack; Sarah dishes our two spoonfuls of green beans. There are serving utensils for all food.
  4. Children are learning portion control as they serve themselves. When food is placed on the plate for them, they do not learn to control themselves. The control is imposed upon them.  
  5. Children are encouraged to try new foods. They are more apt to try a new food if they place it on the plate by themselves.
  6. Children and teachers/caregivers enjoy quiet conversation with each other. Everyone participates in a pleasant social atmosphere.
  7. Teachers and caregivers can use the opportunity to discuss nutrition and the foods that they are enjoying together. Everyone, including the adult, sits down together and eats the same meal.
  8. Food is placed on the table in serving bowls, plates, or baskets. There is adequate food provided on the table for the children and adults. Children may have second helpings.

The following videos give a good picture of family-style dining in the child care setting.