The Results Are In! Exactly What Families Like to Eat For Dinner September 7, 2017

by Eat

To prepare for the launch of our new and improved Family Plan, we surveyed over 1,000 families and pulled from over a year’s worth of Family Plan customer feedback to learn exactly what they like to eat for dinner. And now, we’re sharing the surprising stats, trends, and findings with you. 

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1. Pork is the top protein

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Think chicken is the safest bet when it comes to picky eaters? Think again. Pork actually beat out poultry for the coveted spot of top protein on the family dinner table. In fact, 65% of respondents rated pork recipes as #1, which is more than 10% higher than the amount who chose chicken breast or steak recipes.

But when you think about how well pork pairs with sweet ingredients like fruit and jams, it’s a bit less surprising. Because let’s be honest — what picky eater would refuse Sweet Soy-Glazed Pork with Roasted Veggies and Rice?

If there’s ever been a time to describe dinner as finger-lickin’ good, it’s now.

READ MORE: How to Pair Fruit and Meat for Kid-Friendly Recipes

2. Mexican cuisine is the most popular

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We figured families looked forward to taco night, but we didn’t realize their love for the beloved “holiday” ran this deep. And yet, 77% of respondents claimed Mexican is the cuisine that excites them the most, which sounds like true love to us. Oh — and it turns out families love more than the classic ground beef tacos. In fact, when it comes to taco, fajita, or enchilada night, they’re not afraid to mix things up with different meats and salsas. Case in point: Turkey Burrito Bake with Spinach, Black Beans, and Cheddar.

And the cuisine runners-up? American classics like steak and potatoes and Asian dishes like stir-fry.

READ MORE: 20 Cilantro Recipes For Cinco de Mayo and Beyond

3. Build-your-own meals win

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Burgers and meatballs. They’re both made of ground meat, so in theory families shouldn’t feel strongly about one over the other, right? Actually, the research shows otherwise.

25% more families favor burgers over meatballs, which got us thinking: maybe this discrepancy is less about what goes into the foods and more about how they’re served. Because come dinnertime, the last thing parents want is to make entirely separate meals for the kids and adults to please everyone’s picky palates. And when a meal is as customizable as these Crispy Frico Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Onion Jam and Roasted Broccoli, they don’t have to. Got a hard-core tomato lover on one hand and an ardent tomato hater on the other? No problem. Pile ’em up high on some and scale back on another (but be sure to double down on those caramelized onions).

READ MORE: 4 Build-Your-Own Food Bar Ideas For Kids

4. Crispy comes out on top

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Flavor isn’t the only factor when it comes to pleasing picky eaters. Texture is equally as important, which explains why nine out of twenty of the HelloFresh’s top family recipes contain the word “crispy.” But that definitely doesn’t mean they’re fried. We’ve managed to achieve the coveted, kid-friendly texture without resorting to a deep fryer by incorporating panko breadcrumbs in as many recipes as possible — and with good reason. 50% of respondents chose recipes with this ingredient as their favorite (like this Chicken Parm Salad with Baby Spinach and a Creamy Lemon Dressing).

To help you remember these important family dinner findings, we’ve put together a handy guide. Pin it, print it, put it on the fridge, and relish in your dinner victories night after night.

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Are you surprised by any of these findings? Let us know what you think and if you agree or disagree in the comments!

And if you’re not sure whether our new and improved Family Plan is for you, take this quiz to find out.

Now that dinner is covered, turn your attention to snack time with these four easy and wholesome snacks kids can make themselves (spoiler alert: there’s apple pizzas involved).

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