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Here, an Iranian family sits on the floor and eats from a cloth laden with regional delicacies.
The term eating habits (or food habits) refers to why and how people eat, which foods they eat, and with whom they eat, as well as the ways people obtain, store, use, and discard food.
Individual, social, cultural, religious, economic, environmental, and political factors all influence people's eating habits. They also eat to express appreciation, for a sense of belonging, as part of family customs, and for self-realization.
Etiquette and eating rituals also vary depending on whether the meal is formal, informal, or special (such as a meal on a birthday or religious holiday).
A meal is usually defined as the consumption of two or more foods in a structured setting at a set time.
A liking for some flavors or food combinations is easily acceptable, but others must develop or be learned.
Sweetness is a universally acceptable flavor, but a taste for salty, savory, spicy, tart, bitter, and hot flavors must be learned.
There are also rules concerning with whom it is appropriate to eat.
For example, doctors in a health facility may eat in areas separate from patients or clients.
In either case there must also be proper disposal facilities to avoid environmental and health problems.
There are innumerable flavors and food combinations.