When we think about what we eat for lunch, images of PB&J, leftovers from last night’s dinner, or maybe a salad might come to mind. But there are so many more options. In fact, Americans have more choices than ever before when it comes to their midday meal. While some people still pack their own lunches or eat at the same restaurants again and again, others take advantage of the growing number of fast-casual and catered eateries that make up this segment of the market. Whether you prep your own liners or buy them pre-packaged (or maybe even get them catered in), here are some statistics about what Americans eat for lunch (and where they get it).
What Do Americans Eat For Lunch?
Americans love to eat out for lunch, and many people eat at McDonald’s or Burger King. The average American eats out for lunch three or four times a week. Some people love to eat sandwiches, such as peanut butter and jelly, or ham and cheese. Other people like to have a hot meal, such as fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. Many people like pasta dishes and eggplant parmigiana. If you are lucky enough to live in the South, you can find fried catfish with french fries on the menu at most restaurants.
How Much Do Lunches Cost?
- Some lunches cost $1.25, others cost $4.00, and others cost $10.00. You can’t buy lunch if you don’t have enough money. Some kids have more money than others, but no kid gets to eat if they don’t have the money.
- When I eat lunch, I usually spend about $5.00 or less because I like to eat at Burger King or McDonald’s and get a hamburger, french fries, and a drink for that price.
- Some of my friends like to eat at the school cafeteria, and they spend $2.00 for a hot lunch.
- A lot of people bring their lunch from home, and they spend about $2.00 or less on a sandwich and chips or some fruit.
- I like to eat at a restaurant because I can get more food for my money than I can get at school or at home.
- Many people order pizza with their lunch, but you have to spend about $10.00 for that meal because it costs that much to buy a large pizza with two toppings on it and your drink and tip!
- Some kids bring sandwiches from home in their lunch bags, and they eat them in the cafeteria during the noon hour while they are hanging out with their friends while waiting for the bell to ring after the lunch period is over so they can go back to class again!
- Some kids think it’s funny to bring a big sandwich to school and then eat it all in the cafeteria during lunch.
- Some kids think that if they buy a big sandwich, they can save some of it for their afternoon snack.
- I heard that some kids like to have Chinese food with their lunch because they can get more food for their money than they can at other places, but they have to spend $5.00 or more on a meal like that!
- When I go out to eat with my family, we usually spend about $20.00 or less because we love Mexican food and Italian food and we don’t order expensive meals at those kinds of restaurants!
Where Do People Buy Their Lunches?
- Many people buy their lunches at a restaurant that serves lunch. Unfortunately, these lunches can be very unhealthy, especially if you order an unhealthy entrée. If you want to make sure that you are eating a healthy lunch, you can make your own lunch. There are many recipes out there that are healthy, easy to make, and delicious. Eating a healthy lunch will help you to stay healthy and meet your nutrition needs.
- Some people order their lunches online. You can go to websites like Seamless or GrubHub and order all kinds of different food. Many people order Chinese food for lunch because it is fast, easy, and delicious.
- Some people pack their lunches in the morning before they leave for work. If you pack your lunches in the morning, make sure that you plan ahead so that you can have time to eat a healthy lunch at work.
- Some people bring their lunches from home in a brown paper bag or plastic container and eat them at their desks while they are working on the computer or reading something for work. If you bring your lunch from home, make sure that you pack some healthy food in your lunchbox.
- Some people eat their lunch at a restaurant. There are many restaurants that serve lunch and they are all different kinds of food, including steak, pizza, Chinese food, and sandwiches.
- Some people eat their lunch at the company cafeteria or in the break room with their co-workers during their lunch breaks. This can be a fun way to get to know your co-workers better and chat while you eat.
- Some people go out for a walk or jog after work during their lunch break and then come back to work with an appetite for dinner!
- Some people go to the grocery store during their lunch break and pick up some fresh food to eat for lunch, such as fruit, cheese, or veggies. This is a good way to make sure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
- Some people go to a gas station and buy a bag of chips or some candy. This is a really bad idea because it will make you feel hungry after you eat it and then you will be tempted to eat even more junk food during the rest of your day.
- Some people bring their lunch from home and eat it while they are working on the computer or reading something for work.
Baker’s Dozen Of America’s Favorite Lunches
- Fried chicken.
- Chicken salad sandwich.
- Spaghetti with meatballs.
- Roast beef sandwich on toasted white bread with a layer of horseradish sauce, served with french fries and pickles (sometimes on the side).
- Egg salad sandwich on white bread, served with french fries and tomatoes (sometimes on the side).
- Hamburger served with french fries and pickles (sometimes on the side).
- Meatball sub sandwich (meatballs, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese inside Italian bread rolled into a submarine shape) served with french fries and green peppers (sometimes on the side).
- Ham-and-cheese hot pocket sandwich (ham, cheese & onions baked in a crescent-shaped crust) served with french fries and tomatoes or lettuce and tomato salad (sometimes on the side).
- A Chicago-style hot dog topped with mustard, chopped onion, relish, tomato slices & pickle slices (sometimes on the side).
- Sliced turkey with lettuce and tomato served on wheat bread, served with french fries and pickles (sometimes on the side).
- Eggplant Parmigiana sandwich (breaded eggplant, marinara sauce & mozzarella cheese inside Italian bread) served with french fries and celery sticks (sometimes on the side).
- Grilled cheese sandwich made with American cheese (sometimes Swiss or cheddar), served with tomato soup and a pickle spear.
Though it’s tempting to assume that everyone in the U.S. eats the same thing for lunch, the truth is that there is a wide variety of lunches being eaten throughout the country. However, one thing is clear: People are eating less at home and more out of the house. As the lunch industry continues to grow (and grow), there will be more choices than ever before when it comes to midday meals. Wherever you end up eating your lunch, take the time to think about how much you spend on this meal, and if it’s worth it.