Children today have never tried classic teatime staples like toad in the hole and

The death of the jacket spud: Children today have never tried classic teatime staples like toad in the hole, spaghetti hoops and chicken dippers as families opt for avocado instead – is your childhood favourite at risk of vanishing from the dinner table?

  • Parents said many of the things they ate as a child are simply not healthy enough 

Classic British childhood dinners such as jacket potatoes and beans on toast are disappearing from dinner tables across the country in favour of more sophisticated roast chicken and Mexican tacos, a survey has found.    

A quarter of children under 10 have never tried toad-in-the-hole and one in five have not tasted spaghetti hoops, according to the poll.    

As many as 27 per cent have never had cream of tomato soup, while a quarter (25 per cent) haven’t tried tuna pasta bake.

Experts said health-conscious parents determined to pack nutrients into their children’s meals were prompting the changes to meal-times, as well as social media, where ideas for more adventurous dinner ideas can be shared. 

Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of the parents surveyed said the food their children eat is very different from what they were served in their youth, with half claiming many classic dinners are not healthy enough. 

Toad in the hole

Jacket potato, cheese and beans

A quarter of modern children have never tried toad in the hole – once a classic dinner – and the popularity of jacket potatoes could also be declining… 

Cream of tomato soup

Chicken nuggets and chips

Cream of tomato soup and chicken nuggets and chips are some old school classics

Fishfinger sandwich

Tuna pasta bake

Fish finger sandwiches and tuna pasta bake are perhaps not as popular as they once were

In the survey, 77 per cent agreed that meals such as fish fingers are seen as old-fashioned and outdated now. 

Toad-in-the-hole (24 per cent), frozen burgers (20 per cent) and spaghetti hoops on toast (19 per cent) made the list of children’s dinners falling out of favour.

Instead, children are more likely to be served so-called superfoods such as avocado, a key ingredient in tacos and burritos, both of which made the top ten most popular family dinners, and eggs, which are also rich in brain-boosting omega-3.

Roast chicken and spaghetti bolognese topped the list of the most popular choices.  

Children today also seem to have more sophisticated palates. Some 48 per cent of parents regularly serve Italian classic carbonara, 37 per cent make the Mexican staple dish tacos and 36 per cent often give their children a French omelette and salad.  

However, old-fashion British favourite dippy eggs and soldiers remain a fixture of family dinner tables (40 per cent), as does shepherd’s pie (57 per cent).  

Andrew Joret, spokesman for British Lion Eggs, which commissioned the survey of 2,000 British parents, said social media : ‘Kids’ meal preferences, and what their parents choose to feed them, seems to be changing with nutrition and social media both impacting choices.

Spaghetti bolognese

Carbonara is on the modern list

Spaghetti bolognese and carbonara feature on the list of popular modern favourites

Lasagne is a new favourite

Dippy eggs and soldiers

Lasagne and ‘dippy eggs and soldiers’ are also modern favourites for families 

Burritos are a new favourite

Tacos are a new favourite

Burritos and tacos are new favourites, as a survey shows how children’s meals have changed

‘However, our survey shows that eggs remain a constant favourite as they are nutrient-rich, quick, easy and affordable, and parents can serve them runny to children of all ages including babies when they are stamped with the Lion mark.’

Overall, 87 per cent of parents said they enjoy getting their children involved in cooking meals, which leads to them being more adventurous.



1 . Cream of tomato soup (27 per cent of under tens have never tried it)

2. Tuna pasta bake (25 per cent)

3. Toad-in-the-hole (24 per cent)

4. Frozen burgers (20 per cent)

5. Spaghetti hoops on toast (19 per cent)

6. Fish finger sandwich (16 per cent)

7. Baked potato with cheese and beans (15 per cent)

8. Chicken dippers and chips (13 per cent)

9. Sausage and mash (12 per cent)

10. Nuggets and chips (11 per cent)


1. Roast chicken (68 per cent regularly feed their kids for dinner)

2. Spag bol (68 per cent)

3. Lasagne (62 per cent)

4. Shepherd’s pie (57 per cent)

5. Pasta carbonara (48 per cent)

6. Chilli and rice (42 per cent)

7. Dippy eggs and soldiers (40 per cent)

8. Tacos (37 per cent)

9. Omelette and salad (36 per cent)

10. Burritos (34 per cent)

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