meal manners

Meal manners

It takes much time and effort to have an attractive table and a tasty meal.  When a cook prepares a  meal, you should respect the time and effort by coming to the meal with a decent appearance, a grateful attitude, and careful consideration for the others dining.  Slouching in your chair, displaying a grumpy, negative spirit, and being thoughtless or selfish can ruin an otherwise wonderful meal.

No one enjoys eating with someone who wolfs his food down, slurps his soup, talks with his mouth full, and burps loudly.  Manners are common courtesy shown to others so that everyone can enjoy delicious food in a pleasant atmosphere.  If you practice using good manners at every meal,  you won’t be embarrassed on special occasions by not knowing what to do.   You won’t be caught off guard when someone suggests that you are being rude from a daily habit that you should not be doing.

Our family mealtime should be one of the most pleasant times of our day.  We should engage in good conversation instead of monotone answers. Here are some things to remember when eating a meal with family

  • sit up and remember to bring the food to your mouth
  • wait for a lull in the conversation to ask politely for food
  • answer questions pleasantly
  • be alert to requests from other family members
  • use your napkin
  • if you are missing something, like a fork, get up and get it yourself

Using appropriate humor is also good at the table, it creates a happy mood.  Avoid teasing and jokes at this time.  Don’t use it to beg for requests of your parents.   It is a good time to discuss current events, things that are important at your church, and maybe some interesting things that happened during the day.

Whoever is responsible for making the meal, be sure to THANK THEM.  Even if you did not enjoy something, thank them for taking the time to make the food for you to eat.  Always help CLEAN UP AFTERWARDS. Ask what it is you can do before they have to tell you what you can do.


Rules for when you are a guest in someone else’s home(many will apply to home life as well):

  • Leave your personal problems at home, don’t use this time to discuss negative things going on in your life.
  • Stand behind your chair and wait to sit down until the hostess sits down.
  • If you are a boy, you should help the girl sit in her chair.
  • Keep your hand in your lap when not using it instead of on the table.
  • When food is passed take a moderate helping, keeping in mind there are others eating.
  • Lay your utensils on your plate when taking a drink.
  • Cut your food into small pieces.  Place your knife across the top of your plate in between cutting.
  • Use your napkin frequently, which should be in your lap.
  • Chew slowly and quietly with your mouth closed.  Swallow your food before you begin to talk.
  • Wait to begin eating until the hostess begins passing the food.  Pass it to your left.  Pass all the food before you begin eating.
  • Bread or rolls should be torn apart and butter should be placed on it as you eat it.
  • When eating soup, spoon should be brought up away from you then into your mouth.
  • When you are finished eating you should place your knife and fork across the middle of your plate.  Place your napkin to the left of your plate.
  • If an accidental spill occurs, instantly offer to help clean it up.
  • Engage in lively conversations with your hostess, try and get others to talk about things, not much about yourself.  Avoid topics of confrontation.  Make things pleasant.
  • Do not leave the table before your hostess does.  Always ask to be excused before leaving the table.
  • Sit up straight, both feet on the ground or have your legs crossed.
  • If all else fails and you are not sure what to do during a meal, follow your hostesses lead.
  • You can follow up with a thank you card or a quick phone call of thanks.