Do You Eat Certain Foods on Designated Days?

Updated on January 20, 2020
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.

One Tuesday, I told my sister I had fish for dinner. She almost had a fit. She questioned me by asking why I ate fish on Tuesday instead of waiting until Friday. I told her my stomach did not know which day of the week it was. Besides, I wanted to eat fish on Tuesday and didn't feel the need to wait several days to satisfy my taste buds.

In some families and cultures, certain foods are earmarked to be eaten on designated days. My sister remembered that when we grew up in the South, we ate fish only on Fridays. It was unheard of to eat it on any other day.

My sister acted as though I had committed a deadly sin by eating fish on a day other than Friday. However, I did not feel guilty because I no longer have designated days to eat what I want to eat.

Certain Foods on Holidays

It is definitely not unusual to eat certain foods on holidays. For example, it is popular to eat turkey on Thanksgiving, and corn beef and cabbage on St. Patrick Day.

Certain foods are also eaten on Christmas Day, Easter, and Fourth of July. It is not boring to eat those foods that represent the holidays because it is done only once a year.

What if you were locked into having a certain food on a designated day every week?

Example of My Family's Menu

While growing up in the South, my family had certain foods to eat on designated days of the week.

  • Sunday: always chicken, usually fried.
  • Monday: there was no chicken left over, so a pot of navy beans was served
  • Tuesday: leftover navy beans if any were left
  • Wednesday: pork chops smothered in gravy
  • Thursday: spaghetti and meat sauce
  • Friday: always fish
  • Saturday: hot dogs and pork and beans
  • Sunday: Yeah! Chicken

That was a typical weekly menu for our family.

Foods Starting With the Same Letter of the Day

There is a story about a boy who suffered from Tourette syndrome. He would never eat a food unless it started with the first letter of the day of the week. For instance, he would not eat waffles on Tuesday. He would only eat them on Wednesday. On Tuesdays, he would eat tomatoes, turkey or another food that starts with a "t."

Some people who do not suffer from Tourette syndrome also have a method of how they cook food for their family. There are cultural reasons, religious reasons, and agriculture reasons for the foods people eat on certain days.

In reference to the introduction where this writer related the comment about not waiting until Friday to eat fish was not based on a Tourette syndrome. It was based on a tradition that was passed down in our family.

Foods Eaten on Certain Days Around the World

It is not unusual for people around the world to eat certain foods on designated days. Let's see what they eat and their reason for doing so.

According to the Daily Mail, 60% of families use the same menu every week.

Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken


Almost every Sunday, fried chicken is on most dinner tables in the southern states. After church, families gather and dine on a batch of crispy fried chicken. That is a tradition that still exists today.

Some people who could afford it had roast beef with gravy and vegetables instead of chicken.

Red Beans and Rice
Red Beans and Rice


In New Orleans, most people eat red beans and rice on Monday. That's because women used to be very busy all day washing clothes and hanging them on the line on Mondays. It was before automatic appliances, and families needed something to cook that could be left unattended. The answer was red beans and rice.

Today, there are automatic washers and dryers, but the tradition still exists.

Pork Chops Smothered in Gravy
Pork Chops Smothered in Gravy


By Tuesday, some cooks like to prepare a fresh meal after the weekend. Therefore, they might cook something like smothered pork chops. If the family doesn't eat pork, they might choose something like a stir-fry.

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
Spaghetti and Meat Sauce


People in Boston used to eat spaghetti on Wednesdays. Many of them still do. That's because pasta was on sale on Wednesdays in local grocery stores. They got in the habit of eating it and still eat pasta on that day of the week.

Split Pea Soup
Split Pea Soup


If you lived in Sweden, you would not have to wonder what to prepare for dinner on Thursday. It was customary for families to eat split pea soup on that day. It was a thick soup made with yellow peas and salted pork. The soup was to keep people full because they fasted on Fridays.

Today, families in Sweden eat split pea soup on Thursdays, whether they plan to fast on Friday or not.



Older people grew up eating fish on Fridays based on a religious myth that no red meat should be eaten because Jesus was crucified on Friday. Therefore, fish became the staple.

Today, younger people like pizza or something they can order and have delivered. It is their way of celebrating the end of the week. If all family members do not agree on pizza, Chinese food is another option.


If it is Saturday in New England, then expect baked beans to be on most dinner tables and on the menu in restaurants. That choice dates back to colonial times when people were forbidden to cook between sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday. Cooks did their cooking on Saturday for meals to be eaten on Sunday.

The Puritan laws are no longer followed, but the tradition continues.

Baked Beans
Baked Beans

Intentional Meals

Instead of having a certain food for designated days, some people have intentional meals on certain days. For instance, they might decide not to eat meat on a day of the week. They call it "meatless Monday." The alliteration helps them remember that is the day the family agreed on.

In fact, Meatless Monday is an international campaign that reminds people to eat healthy by avoiding meat on the first workday of the week.

Do you eat certain foods on designated days?

See results

© 2018 Margaret Minnicks


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