Enjoying The Journey

Why I Serve Meals At The Kitchen Table

Why I serve meals at the kitchen table Come Home For Comfort

Eating a meal at the dining room table, set with cloth napkins and nice dishes, is something I’ve done hundreds of times in my life. It’s my favorite way to enjoy a meal – I’m not a huge fan of eating while sitting in front of the TV. Don’t get me wrong. If I’m home by myself, I eat at the kitchen bar counter (with Netflix or YouTube playing on my laptop). But balancing everything on my lap at the couch or trying to manage a flimsy TV tray makes a meal much less enjoyable, in my opinion.

There are several other reasons why I serve meals at my kitchen table.

1. Eating at the table is much more conducive to conversation than eating in front of the TV.

This is pretty obvious, but it is worth discussing. Since we don’t have children, there is plenty of time during the day for Paul and I to do the general “how was your day?” routine. At the table we end up talking about big things…vacation plans, hopes and dreams for various careers, people we are concerned for, holiday plans and more. For people with larger families, the supper table is a wonderful place to reconnect during the busyness of the week!

2. Eating at the table is a great place to teach and to practice good manners.

I encourage you to require the same behavior at your supper table as you would at anyone else’s supper table. If you don’t want your children to talk with food in their mouths or to get up from the table without permission at your pastor’s home (or anywhere else you want to make a good impression), don’t let them do those things at home. I appreciated being raised with high expectations for supper table manners  – I have never felt intimidated in any dining situation.

As an adult, I find that eating at the table helps me to practice my good manners. It’s good to practice setting my utensils down in between bites, cutting meat in a polite way, passing serving bowls and so on.

3. Eating at the table helps me make my family feel special.

All the women in my family are experts at setting pretty tables. My mom, my Nana, Paul’s mom and my aunts have such a gift for it! I will confess, I have to work at it. I’m not crafty or extremely creative so I look to Instagram and magazines for inspiration (Southern Living and Better Homes & Gardens are my favorites for this). I know how special I feel when I arrive at one of their homes for a meal and find the table set with pretty linens, nice dishes and a centerpiece. Giving my family the same treatment I appreciate tells them that I value them!

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Paul really prefers to eat at the couch, and we do still eat there several nights a week. We like watching Jeopardy while we eat (yes, we are only in our 30’s, haha!) and I don’t mind pulling out the TV trays for a few week nights. However, Sunday and at least one other night during the week is reserved for the kitchen table. I set it with a tablecloth or cloth place mats, cloth napkins and a knife, fork and spoon. Most of the time I put all our food in serving dishes and place them on the table. One of us will turn on some music before we sit down. I snap a picture for Instagram, and then we eat!

Do you eat your meals at the kitchen (or dining room) table? If not, I hope you’ll try it just once a week. I don’t think you’ll regret it!

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28 thoughts on “Why I Serve Meals At The Kitchen Table

  1. Yes, yes, yes! We NEVER eat in front of the tv. It is just something that I don’t want to get started. Eating as a family is such a sweet and special time, I want to fight for it to stay that way.

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  2. I love this post so much! In fact, I think I’ll be sharing it on my blog this weekend for ‘weekend reading’. My parents always made a point of having my whole family eat at the dinner table pretty much every night (unless we were having pizza and wanted to watch a movie with it) and it’s something I appreciate so much. I really value the time spent at the table sharing a meal. I too am not fond of eating in front of the tv – I hate the whole plate balancing act + the lack of conversation + the mindless eating and not really enjoying the food. My husband enjoys the ‘comfiness’ of eating in front of the tv, so we do eat on the sofa about two nights a week but we always linger and have great conversations when we eat at the table. . . Sorry for the rambling comment. 🙂

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  3. I wasn’t allowed to eat in front of the tv as a kid, and now as an adult, Mike won’t let me either, hahaha. The few times I’ve done it due to having a sick kid or other unusual circumstance, I really feel like I’m getting away with something ;-). I love our time at the dining room table, though. I totally agree. It fosters conversation AND helps teach my kids to look at people when they are spoken to/speaking. And you table cloth is SO pretty!

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  4. Your table looks beautiful and effortless. I love the bright and cheery colors you went with for this time of year. We have gotten out of the habit of eating at our table with our current housing situation. I’m hoping to remedy that once we move into our new house. I like the idea of eating, visiting and enjoying your family around the table the majority of the time and eating at the couch less. I’ll be working on this goal and making sure it stays a priority in my family.

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    1. I totally understand – when we lived the apartment life, we ate at the couch too. Of course we didn’t have cats back then…that’s one thing I fight with when we eat at the couch now. Get out of my face, Peggy, no you can’t have any of my cheese…Thelma Lou, get your paw off Paul’s plate…I hope I’d be better with raising kids than I am with my cats! Haha!

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  5. Your table is so pretty, Whitney! I know Paul appreciates your efforts – and your willingness to sit on the sofa sometimes! Meals at the table are my favorite time of day. Even now when I go home to my parents’ we sit forever at the table and have great conversation. It’s a special time to connect! Great post!

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  6. I love your tablecloth and dishes! I agree with you that dinners need to be eaten at the table. With children and a dog eating anywhere else is pretty impossible for us. Having said that though, if I’m alone I’m totally on the couch. Ha!

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  7. Love eating at the table! I don’t get things set up as pretty as you do but we always have cloth placemats, glass dishes and full silverware. I also never serve food from pans at the table. My husband does prefer to eat in front of the TV. Often times he gets home much later than I can wait to eat so I find myself eating at the table alone and he eats at the TV later. I try to remind myself we are eating home cooked family meals! Yours is beautiful!

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    1. That was a Sunday lunch in the picture – during the week it’s usually a little simpler. 🙂 It sounds like a lot of husbands prefer the couch to the table…and I think a compromise is a good idea!

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  8. Before our daughter was born, Hubby and I ate in front of the television. After she was eating solids, we decided that all of our meals would be at the table. We really enjoy our mealtimes together. We pray, eat, and have great conversations. No distractions! It is an important part of family life. I agree with you that manners start at home. It is always an educational experience with a toddler at the table! Ha ha!

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  9. The table in my house has a good view of the TV, so we get the best of both worlds if there’s a show on to watch. But, conversation always comes first. It’s nice to be able to communicate with those you love, and I wish more people sat down to dinner rather than staring at their phones or grabbing food on the go.

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