From Kenzie’s Studio: Peppersalt Dinner Table Manners Book

“From Kenzie’s Studio” is a guest article written by our inhouse photographer. Her blogs include interesting, quirky and fun Mardel products that catch her eye while photographing hundreds of items each week!


The Peppersalt dinner table manners book caught my attention because it’s intended to be used to teach kids table manners during family dinner. This book is broken down into 30 mini sections and tips.

I tried to pick some less known tips that made this booklet really stand out to me! So here are my top 7 dinner table manner tips for kids and families from the Peppersalt Dinner Table Manners Book:

  1. Napkins
  • As soon as you are seated unfold your napkin and place it in your lap

Why this matters: There’s differing opinions on this. Some say to put your napkin on your lap as soon as seated and others say wait so you don’t look desperate for food. Here’s my thoughts: If you are the host, place the napkin on your lap after the last guest is sat. If you are a guest wait until all the guests are seated and/or until the host places the napkin on their lap. This will show you are observant and show regard for others. This is a great skill to develop in children because it starts teaching them to observe their surroundings, consider others and how their actions affect others.


2. Napkins  Part 2

  • …At the end of the meal in a restaurant, loosely place the used napkin on the table to the left of your plate

Why this matters: It’s a sign that you are done with your meal and a subtle signal that you’re ready to leave the restaurant without insulting others at the table.


3. Cleanliness

  • Sit close enough to the table so that any food that gets dropped will land on your plate and not in your lap

Why this matters: No one wants to touch a dirty table, especially if the meal is finger food. Showing that you’re not a messy person can make a difference in many formal eating situations. This also teaches courteousness in respecting the space of others and leaving things as clean as possible when you leave the table/restaurant.


4. Silverware

  • Once silverware is picked up from the table it NEVER touches the table again

Why this matters: This is another matter of cleanliness. This keeps your germs off the table and the germs on the table off your eating utensils. It’s easy to rest a knife, spoon or fork on a plate or napkin. This teaches children to respect shared spaces. 


5. Knife

  • A knife should never enter the mouth or be licked

Why this matters: More than cleanliness I think this is a subtle way of showing intelligence and poise. GROSS! You never know how sharp a knife really is. Don’t test it on your tongue. It gives the impression that you lack experience in formal environments. From a cultural perspective-many Europeans use only sharp knives so this skill will help anyone who is trying to adapt to new cultures. 


6. Drinking glass

  • Wipe your mouth before drinking something

Why this matters: This keeps food particles out of your glass and adds to the goal of cleanliness. This could make the difference in a future job interview if you’re able to show general cleanliness. Be sure to wipe your hands also, especially if you’re eating finger foods!


7. Salt and pepper

  • Taste your food before adding salt and pepper… historically and in many cultures, seasoning the food before you taste it is viewed as an insult to the cook…

Why this matters: from an interview to a mission trip in a different culture, insulting the cook could cause an offense that can be detrimental. Children learn to taste food for what it is and show respect to the cook (even if it’s just a family member or friend). A simple and subtle gesture of respect can go a long way. This again teaches children to consider others in a social setting.

These lifelong skills can be utilized in interviews, first impressions, prom, weddings or any other formal event. But they can mean just as much during a family dinner because manners aren’t only about outward appearances, they are just as much about how to interact socially in a way that gains you favor and allows people to observe your character without saying a word.


Hi, I’m Kenzie! I am a native Oklahoman and professional photographer. I hold a degree in Photographic Arts from the University of Central Oklahoma and have experience in many areas of photography. I’m super passionate about good food, unique experiences and life hacks.

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