- An eating pattern can be described as where, when and how you eat.
- A traditional eating pattern would consist of three meals a day, including around three snacks a day.
- A meal is an eating occasion which usually takes place at a specific time and place.
- A snack consists of a small amount of food and drink to relieve hunger between meals.
Changing eating patterns
- In the 50/60's families sat and ate meals together nearly seven days a week, and only went out of the home for meals on special occasions.
- Today in scoiety, families eat together sometimes only once a week, and go out of the home for meals all the time.
- Meal times have now become more flexible due to changing working roles and hours.
- Snaking is a lot more common today than it used to be.
- The distinction between a meal and snack has massively blurred.
- In 2008, it was predicted that snaking will account for 44% of all meal occasions.
- People snack because:
-widely available, enjoyable, poor food prep skills, lack of time, available at social occasions, satisfy hunger, relieve boredom.
- Dashboard dining is food eating whilst in the car on the go.
- In 2005 it was found 22% of consumers ate whilst in the car.
- Increased car ownership and busier lifestyles have contributed to this.
- Garages also provide more food which is why people eat in the car.
- Also 'Drive-thru's' are now a lot more common.
- A lot of working people now eat breakfast at their desk instead of in the home.
- Fast food chains are massive contributers to this, due to offering cheap convinient breakfast meals.
Reasons for the changes in patterns of eating:
- More disposable income- more money to spend on convinient, easy prepare food.
- Working mothers- mothers dont have the time to spend all day cooking in the home.
- More people live alone- single person meals have massively grown over the years.
- More places to eat out- more variety of places to go and eat out with all types of food.
- Limited skill and knowledge of how to cook.
- Lack of time- ready made meals save shopping cooking and washing time.
- Perception of eating out has changed - no longer a special treat, just a way of life.
THE CHOICE OF FOOD INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE HOME
Four categories of food that we purchase to make our meals:
- Ready to make- raw ingrediants bought by the comsumer e.g. veg, flour, butter, milk, minced meat.
- Ready prepared- 1. prepared meal components: parts of the meal which have been prepared by the manufacturer raw or ready to use e.g. fish fingers, beef burgers AND 2. part-prepared light meals: Meal that can be prepared quickly and sometimes is a snack e.g. baked beans, tinned soup.
- Ready to heat- frozen or chilled at least part cooked by the manufacturer e.g. pizza, curries, pies.
- Ready to eat- hot or cold ready for consumption straight away e.g. sandwiches, wraps,…