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Article by Sarah Hamilton-Walker | 4th February 2019

Favourite Family Meals - Which Gets Your Vote?

Fish fingers, Sunday roast and roast chicken are some of the top family meals which have remained popular over the last 50 years. A study exploring how family food trends have changed over the decades found our palates still crave many of the same flavours we enjoyed decades ago.

Other family meals that have stood the test of time include fish and chips and shepherd’s pie. And modern parents reckon a third of the meals they feed their children are the same or similar to the ones their parents gave them when they were little.
Food historian Monica Askay, acting as spokesperson for cooking appliance brand, Belling, which commissioned the study, said: “Food is and has always been subject to fashion. Our food choices are influenced by so many things, including social factors, the availability of ingredients, foreign travel, immigration, celebrity chefs, advances in technology, changing health advice and food scares.
“The research shows that despite the large range of dishes and available ingredients we do tend to stick to a fairly small number of favourite dishes, and that many of these have remained preferred throughout the decades.”
The study also found our favourite modern family meal is spaghetti Bolognese, rising from relative obscurity in the 60s to become a family staple. Spag bol – which was the most popular choice with families in 2018 – couldn’t crack the top 20 meals back in the 1960s, according to the survey. Though by the 1980s the meal had become the fifth most popular family dinner time dish.
Pizza has also experienced a meteoric rise over the last 50 years. While rarely invited to the dinner table in the 60s, pizza became the 10th most popular family meal of choice in the 80s, and became the top dinner staple throughout the 1990s, according to the survey.

TODAY’S 5 FAVOURITE FAMILY MEALS

1. Spaghetti Bolognese
2. Pizza
3. Roast chicken
4. Fish fingers
5. Fish and chips


...and the 90s

1. Pizza
2. Spaghetti Bolognese
3. Pasta and sauces
4. Sunday roast
5. Jacket potato


80s

1. Fish fingers
2. Sunday roast
3. Roast chicken
4. Beans on toast
5. Spaghetti Bolognese

70s

1. Sunday roast
2. Fish fingers
3. Roast chicken
4. Beans on toast
5. Shepherd’s pie

60s

1. Sunday roast
2. Fish fingers
3. Roast chicken
4. Beans on toast
5. Roast beef

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