While you may not think that mealtime etiquette is that important, this can actually have a huge impact on developing positive eating habits. From regular mealtimes to using the right cutlery, here are a few tips on how to improve your dining etiquette in ways that will encourage healthy eating habits.
While you may not be able to have a sit-down meal three times a day, establishing regular meal times for at least one of these meals will be extremely beneficial. A number of studies have shown that those who have a set time for their meals, and eat without having one eye on the television, end up making far healthier choices when it comes to the food that they eat.
Using the Right Cutlery
As hungry as you may be when meal time rolls around, it is important that you refrain from shovelling food into your mouth as fast as you can, and instead take the time to use the right cutlery, bringing your food to your face rather than your face to your food. Simply sit up straight, and balance a single bite onto the appropriate piece of cutlery, and then bring this directly to your mouth.
Chewing with Your Mouth Closed
It is likely that your parents instilled into you the importance of chewing with your mouth closed while you were young, and, hopefully, this is something that you have carried forward into adulthood. However, in addition to an open mouth full of food looking quite unsightly, chewing with your mouth closed also helps with the digestion process, especially when you are eating starches, as this minimizes oxidation.
Taste the Food First Before Adding More Salt
When sitting down for a meal, many people tend to automatically reach for the salt shaker, dousing their food in extra salt before they have even tasted it. This is an eating habit that you should try your best to break, as excess sodium in your diet can lead to everything from high blood pressure and heart disease to dementia and strokes.
Do Not Pre-Cut All Your Food at Once
While it may be tempting to cut up all of your food in one go, this is not only poor dining etiquette, but will also result in you eating your meal so much faster. However, this can be quite detrimental to your health, and you should really be trying to eat as slowly as you can. Not only does eating slowly help to improve digestion and hydration, but it will also give you more satisfaction from your food, and will mean that you are likely to be able to eat smaller portions, while still feeling just as full up at the end.
Mealtime etiquette is something that many tend to forget about these days, but it is extremely important. Even if you are just eating a casual meal with your family, practicing good mealtime etiquette will help you to develop positive eating habits that you can then maintain throughout your life.