What Did The Children Of The Rich People Eat In The Victorian Age?

5 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Custard, Meat Pie, Bread and butter pudding, Bread, Meat, Salad
Shivanjali Satila Nandani Profile

Children in this era were to be seen and not heard. Common in wealthier families, children DID NOT eat with their parents unless their parents had set it out before hand. Mostly they would eat breakfast and 'dinner' aka lunch together with their mother if she has so decided it, but many children would eat in the nursery with their nanny and nursemaid overseeing their meals. 

For the most part it was believed children should not be given heavy, rich and spicy foods as it would interfere with delicate digestive systems and foster ill manners and thoughts, especially in girls. So sweets, fresh fruit( believe it or not), spices etc were for the most part excluded from the juvenile diet. Bread, little pats of butter, light fruit jams, simple stews, fresh rolls or muffins, cooked fruits such as apples and pears, rhubarb, porridge, soups, boiled meats such as mutton, vegetables, custards, rice puddings, boiled/poached eggs, very little cheese, simple puddings like bread and butter, roly-poly, jam tarts etc, roasted fowl/chicken with very little seasoning save salt and pepper were the norm along with a healthy dose of milk or cocoa. 

Children who were eleven and up were permitted at important dinners so as to teach them proper etiquette and manners befitting future social situations. Teenagers would begin to eat with the adults and have samples of a more varied diet as they began their venture into adulthood. However come Christmas or Easter, children would be allowed to indulge in cakes, sweets, biscuits and tarts as a form of special treats and teaching them moderation, humbleness and over indulgence/gluttony. 

Here is a sample breakfast menu taken from the Victorian Book of Cooking stipulating what a 'nursery child' should be fed "A glass of warm milk or hot cocoa. Poached/lightly salted egg, slices of brown bread thinly spread with butter, porridge with treacle with Highland cream. Jam may be served in place of butter on the bread."

Lunch also known as Dinner was taken at midday

Boiled mutton soup (with veges of course!), fresh bread rolls thinly spread with butter. Rice pudding and milk/cocoa

Supper/Tea

This was a lighter meal as it was believed children should not have heavy foods prior to their bedtime

Hot milk, savory muffins. Beef tea (broth) and if lucky some sort of custard pudding.

Hope this helps!


Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
By our standards, chikdren had a lot of quite heavy food; "nursery food" featured jam and rice puddings, suet and so on. Bread and butter was a staple. Even rich children often had a good deal of this plain, stodgy food, as they typically ate many meals in the nursery, not with their parents. When they did eat "downstairs", they ate the same food as adults - click here for some ideas about that - and were expected to finish everything on their plates.

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