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Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 2 weeks ago

What food would a typical American family have eaten in 1952?

What would they have ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks?

Update:

This applies to people living in cities and towns.

16 Answers

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  • Burgoo
    Lv 6
    1 week ago

    steak, steak, bacon, whiskey, cigarettes and martinis

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  • 1 week ago

    In most households, breakfast was either eggs, toast and some kind of breakfast meat (i.e., bacon or sausage) and orange juice, coffee/tea or milk, or boxed cereal with toast and juice.  In the Southern US, oftentimes, breakfast was cooked rice with milk and sugar, biscuits, sausage gravy and/or whole sausages. 

    Lunch would have typically been a sandwich with luncheon meat, a salad, or soup and crackers. Sometimes leftovers from the previous night's dinner would have been used then, too.

    Dinners almost always included some meat: beef, chicken or pork, or fish, along with potatoes and a vegetable.  There was very likely a dessert after the main meal. Jello was a big thing then, being so 'versatile' for  making things like desserts or salads. 

    Snacks weren't a big thing then--but when people did snack, there wasn't a huge variety of different ones. Potato chips were very popular, as was popcorn made in a home popper--with  oil and the kernels cooking until they popped, rather than the way most people eat it now, which is from a microwave. Microwaves weren't introduced until the late 70's, early 80's for almost all households. 

    Food was cooked from scratch almost for every meal. People ate more meat, and potatoes were a staple. No one really depended on 'convenience' foods--the home freezer, if there was one, would have been filled with meats, fish, and things that could be used to make whole meals. Most everyone had three meals a day, around the table, sitting together. 

    Food was often grown at home--especially vegetables--and canned or preserved for later use. Much of our food in the wintertime where it's cold, was from our stores of canned goods we had 'put up' in the summertime. This would include fruit, sauces, vegetables and even meats. In the cities, where gardens could not be cultivated, households would sometimes buy at farmer's  markets out of town, in bulk quantities, and can for the winter months. We didn't have as much variety of fresh veggies and fruit during those months because produce was almost always seasonally available, not year round available. So you didn't get your tomatoes in December--unless you canned them in July or August. 

    This is only a general description. Ethnicities that were Asian, Hispanic, Eastern European, African-American all had different types of foods, available at different times of the year. The one thing that was almost universal was that almost no-one bought ready-made meals--they cooked. All the time. For each meal. 

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  • Linda
    Lv 7
    1 week ago

    For breakfast my parents told me they had coffee juice eggs, bacon and toast and sometimes waffles. Lunch was sandwiches a lot like bologna and liverworst. Dinner was mashed potatoes or baked, roast beef or chicken with peas often or green beans. Dessert was jello or tapioca pudding often. Snacks were scarce or not at all. Maybe some fruit or cookies if you were lucky. Drinks were coffee, tea, water, or lemonade. Pie and cake was served after sunday dinner.

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  • 1 week ago

    Back when I was a Highschool Freshman, my breakfast was coffee, cerial, toast, and an egg. Lunch was whatever the lunch ladies fixed at school but always included bread, protein, a starch, a veggie and milk. Deserts were kind of scarce. Afterschool snack was usually a Pb&j. Supper was a meat, a veggie (even if it were corn) and bread. Usually ice tea was the beverage.

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  • 1 week ago

    breakfast would be bacon and eggs or sauage and pancakes with coffee.We did not eat cereal much.Lunch cold biscuit and leftover meat Supper was beans,greens cornbread and fried potatoes most days not a lot of variation. back then.Sunday dinner was greens cornbread,fried chicken and tea.

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  • 2 weeks ago

    My mom remembers eating things like fried egg sandwiches, cold meatloaf sandwiches, and usually a dinner consisting of a starch and meat. Canned veggies weren't on the menu often, just when they could afford them.

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  • 2 weeks ago

    Breakfast- Coffee, ham and eggs (a VERY popular dish), breakfast casserole, cereals for kids, and sometimes, pancakes. Pancakes kind of fell out of favor during this decade and weren't super popular, as America was sick of grains, oats, and the like after the war. They could readily get meat and eggs now and were eating these more often.

    Lunch- Deviled ham, egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad sandwiches, hamburgers, potato salads, Jello salads- welcome to the age of salads! Molded salads were an especially impressive dish to serve.

    Dinner- Roasts, meatloaf, and pork chops a plenty with potatoes. Chicken wasn't a popular dish by itself, like chicken breasts with something on the side. That wasn't done too often. French cooking has a resurgence due to people being able to buy meat and diary, so things like fish and chicken were paired with rich sauces. It was also common to show off, so hams with pineapple rings and asparagus were also popular.

    Dessert- SUGAR is readily available again, so home bakers are going nuts. Cakes with elaborate decorations and icing were in favor, because well, they could. Box mixes are also gaining more popularity during this time for busy mothers to make a quick treat for her family, but many still preferred the scratch method. Pies are still being made, with apple being the most made, but meringue, any kind, was also very sought-after in this decade.

    Snacks- This decade still wasn't huge on snacking at all hours of the day. Kids got snacks after school, usually cookies (homemade, of course).

    A whole entire generation of new food came out in this decade, things that had never been done before or things that hadn't been done in a long time because of the war. Many people were able to cook freely again without rationing, so they went BIG. My grandma said the first time she was able to go to the store and just buy what she wanted, she cried and she made a huge cake. Fast food didn't catch on until later in the decade, and even then, mostly teens. Dining out was a more fancy affair, where people still dressed up and applied the right fork to fish. Diners were pretty much the closest to fast food in the early 50's and were everywhere because more people were working late or nights, so they stayed open 24 hours. This decade was an explosion of food for Americans after rationing for so long and they took advantage. 

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  • Jen
    Lv 6
    2 weeks ago
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  • IOM
    Lv 7
    2 weeks ago

    Pancakes, meatloaf, peas, mashed potatoes, burgers, milkshakes, ice cream. Something like that. 

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  • 2 weeks ago

    Pretty much the same as is being consumed now with the exception of certain additives in the foods.  And far less "fast food" places like McDonalds and other burger places were more of a "treat" not an every day stop. 

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