It is very pleasing to know that many people try to act upon the sunnah of our beloved Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam and bring his teachings into their lives; however, most only act upon those things commonly known as sunnah and miss many out. The sunan of eating are just a few of many examples.
Although the sunan of eating are numerous, only a few are commonly practiced, i.e. spreading the dining cloth, sitting on the floor, reciting the masnūn ad'iyah, and washing the hands before and after eating.
Another important point to remember is that these sunan are not just for lunch and supper; they are to be implemented whenever we eat and whatever we eat, even at tea-time or when we are merely snacking on a packet of crisps or a bar of chocolate.
The norm in society is for tea to be served on a table, whether having it for oneself or serving it to a guest. We somehow happen to leave aside and ignore the sunnah of our beloved Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam at teatime. Is not what we have with our tea a type of food too? We should therefore adopt the sunnah of our beloved Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam at teatime too, which includes reciting the masnūn ad'iyah, spreading the dining mat and washing our hands before and after finishing, instead of just wiping them with a tissue.
The Sahābah radhiyallāhu 'anhum would scarcely find enough food to eat regularly. For them, dates and water would just about be enough; sometimes not even that. Regardless, they would leave no stone unturned in acting fully upon the sunnah of the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam. We should therefore imitate them in following the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam's blessed footsteps.