6 Ways to Make Eating Dinner in Front of the TV a Little More Special

published May 23, 2017
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(Image credit: Ana Kamin)

Maybe your apartment is too small for even a tiny breakfast table, or maybe you just want to unwind with some takeout, some quality television, and as little conversation as possible?

Whatever your reason for sitting on the couch while eating dinner, I can not judge you (I do it all the time!), but I can offer you some ideas for how to make the meal feel a little more special.

1. Get a TV tray.

Hunching over your coffee table is less than ideal, mostly because it’s uncomfortable and a really good way to make a mess. A TV tray can help with ergonomics and bring the food closer to your mouth (less spills!). Plus, it’ll make the experience a little more fun, like you’re on an airplane — only with better food and more legroom. Look into folding tables, trays that are easy to store, or a piece that can do double-duty as an end table or plant stand when it’s not dinnertime.

Get Some Ideas

2. Or just sit on the floor.

If you really want to use your coffee table as your dinner table (again, no judgments!), just get down on the floor so that you’re more even with the surface. It’ll feel like a special little indoor picnic, and you’ll still be able to see your food and the TV.

3. Use real dinnerware.

Just because you’re not eating at a dinner table doesn’t mean you have to eat out of an aluminum container. If it’s takeout, put that food on a real plate! If you cooked, resist the urge to use paper plates. If you’re worried about breakages (what if you get excited and knock something over?), consider melamine plates or a cup with a lid. Note: A cloth napkin is nice, but totally optional.

4. Serve some finger foods.

You may find it hard to twirl pasta onto your fork with both eyes glued to the TV. And you don’t have to! Plan a meal that consists of a bunch of little finger foods (we call it a snack board!) and you can shovel food into your mouth without looking. The special part lies in that it’ll feel like you got a bunch of little appetizers at a restaurant.

3 Snack Boards to Try

5. Have a theme.

What are you planning on watching? Better Call Saul? Fry up some chicken. Rewatching old episodes of The Office? Consider a beet and goat cheese or tuna salad sandwich. Scandal? Popcorn and cheeseburgers. You get the point — just theme your menu based on whatever is on the docket for the night.

If you’re watching Better Call Saul: How To Make Crispy, Juicy Fried Chicken

6. Make it a party.

I get that you might not feel like talking, but that’s what the TV is for. Invite a friend or three over to turn a boring weeknight into a viewing party. Whether you’re watching The Handmaid’s Tale or 60 Minutes, everything is more fun with company!

When was the last time you ate in front of the TV? Maybe just eating there was special enough for you? Or maybe you did a little something extra?