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Colonial Meals. What did people eat for breakfast, dinner, and lunch? They DID not have steak for dinner btw . By Amy Xu 7A3. An Introduction.

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colonial meals

Colonial Meals

What did people eat for breakfast, dinner, and lunch? They DID not have steak for dinner btw 

By Amy Xu 7A3

an introduction
An Introduction

People had to eat even back in the colonial times. They aren’t superman or have abilities to generate food inside their stomachs. If you didn’t know that, I have no comment…. MOVING ON, they had different meals from ones we have today. They had to eat what accordingly to the seasons, even if they didn’t want to. They had no refrigerators to keep the food cold. Oh, and just a sneak peak of what's coming up, lunch did not exist. A “typical colonial meal” did not exist as well.

eating utensils and rules of eating
Eating Utensils and Rules of Eating

People even back in the colonial days used utensils to eat. They usually used flat knives and spoons to eat, and don’t forget the plates! Cups were used to drink (duh?) Spoons were made of either laurel, or pewter. Colonial plates were actually home-hewed wooden tresses. Cups were hollow gourds.

Families today eat dinner and talk about their day. This didn’t happen in colonial times. In fact, the children never spoke to the adults during eating time. Sometimes, they even ate at separate place than the adults. At the dinner table, the children only ate and filled their plate.

what did people eat
What did people eat?

Yes. They had to eat. Do you? Well, heres a list of some of the things they ate:

-Fruits (grown by colonists)




-Vegetables (all grown by the colonists)

-Fish (vital importance. At first, they were less eaten because colonists didn’t know how to catch them)

-Meats (bear meat, deer meat, lobster, what the men hunted)

cooking roles tools
Cooking Roles + Tools

Woman had to prepare the food. (No, people COULD NOT snap a finger and wa-la! Instant meal. WRONG, just wrong -___-)They would start fires, go milk cows, pick vegetables, and hang meat for it to dry, and many other chores. This took a long time, many hours. They used all sorts of utensils. Quern, peel tool, and fire spoon just to name a few. A quern was used to turn grain into flour (which was used for breads, etc). A peel tool was used to take bread out of the oven conveniently. A fire spoon was a tool used to transport hot coals from one place to another.

the first course breakfast
The first course: Breakfast

What do you eat at the beginning of a new day? Breakfast of course! During colonial times, the time you ate breakfast varies. If you were poor, you would eat it early. If you were wealthy, you would eat it later than the poor people. Later in the 19th century, breakfast was eaten at 9 or 10 o’clock. Poor people had to wake up early to do their many chores. As a result, breakfast was quite simple.

breakfast foods
Breakfast Foods

As said before, breakfast was actually quite simple. People drank cider or beer. Even the kids. This was their beverages with EVERY meal. People didn’t eat bacon or scrambled eggs. In fact they ate porridge, corn mush, molasses, bread, etc. Milk was also drank. In New England, milk was drank more often.


Dinner was eaten in the afternoon. It was the biggest meal of the day. Also, lunch didn’t exist. Like breakfast and supper, it was simple. They had one-piece meals. With meat in a big kettle with vegetables (personally grown ones). Venison, pheasant, wild hare, squirrel, pigeons, and different types of fish were the basis of this one-piece meal. People of the colonial times also ate lobster, oysters, and corn (this was always served!). Corn can be served in many ways. It can be eaten with bread or made into stew. Pudding can be made too!


Supper was a light meal. It was served in the evening. Unlike, nowadays where we serve dinner in the evening. This meal was eaten late. It could’ve been leftovers from dinner or gruel. Cider, beer was also eaten with this. In the 19th century, its importance grew.


SOURCES (information)




BOOKS (so little, sorry )

  • Colonial Food by Verna Fisher


I also have to thank and give credit to last year’s PowerPoint presentations for giving me ideas.