Dining Etiquette Tips for any Occasion

With all the dinner parties and gatherings, dinner parties offer a wonderful opportunity to teach children about social and dining etiquette.

If you are hosting one, you can recruit your children to set the table and use this time to review each piece in a table setting, what it is used for, and where it is placed in relation to the diner. Whether you are hosting or attending a dinner, take some time before the event to review basic table manners.

Family Christmas dinner

These dining etiquette rules are a good place to start:

  • When you arrive at the table, unless instructed otherwise, stand behind your chair and wait until the host/hostess is seated before sitting down.
  • Don’t touch your napkin or anything else until instructed by the host/hostess.
    A note about religious practices: When you attend a dinner party, the host/hostess determines which customs are followed. If they practise a different religion than you and have different customs, follow their lead. For example, if they say Grace before meals, say Grace with them, or at least bow your head in respect. If they don’t, you may say it quietly to yourself, but do not disrupt others or expect them to participate or accommodate your custom.
  • When the meal begins, place your napkin across your lap and keep it there until the meal is complete. If you need to wipe your mouth, dab the corners with your napkin and return the napkin to your lap.
  • Sit up straight, don’t talk with food in your mouth, and keep your elbows off the table.
  • Do not use your thumb or fingers to push food onto your fork; use your knife. If you do touch your food with your fingers, don’t lick them clean; wipe them on your napkin – under the table.
  • Participate in the conversation at the table, but avoid discussing politics, religion, health issues, or other controversial subjects. Talk to everyone at the table, not just the people sitting next to you.
  • When you have finished eating, place your cutlery side-by-side on your plate at the 6 o’clock position and place your napkin, loosely folded, to the left of your plate. Don’t push your plate away.

Finally, if you are ever unsure about what to do, watch the host/hostess for direction.

Download Free Table Etiquette Guide!

Table manners involve more than just the way we eat, being observant and considerate of others is the essence of being a well-mannered diner. Add your name and email below to download your free Table Etiquette guide. Don’t forget to confirm your email address to get your link.

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