You can also make plates yourself with two clay balls or two logs in a row to craft clay plates and wooden plates respectively.
Now, fire those clay plates in a furnace or forge to get stoneware plates. Repeat with the stoneware plates to get fine plates.
Once the plate has been placed on a block you can right-click it with a food item to place that item on the plate. You can stack up to 64 food items of the same food type on a single plate (since Public Beta 21). Cakes and soups can not be stacked on plates.
Right-clicking a filled plate with something else or empty handed, will feed the player one piece. If you want to take a single piece, shift-right-click the plate (since Public Beta 21). If you want to take all food and the plate, break the plate (left-click).
As of Update 34, you can wear plates on the head like a hat, and the plate will show food you are holding in your hand on your head.
Plates can also be thrown, causing minor damage to any mob they hit, and breaking random glass or glowstone blocks that they fly through in a 5x5 corridor. Hobbits can also throw plates at you. You can auto-shoot plates by dispensers.
The achievement 'Kitchen Brawler' is awarded for killing a Middle-earth NPC upon which damage has been inflicted only by thrown plates.