What Do Dreams About Food Mean?

5 Min Read | By Nicholas Barber

Last Modified 22 February 2024   First Added 10 October 2022

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

What Does it Mean to Dream of Food?

“We are what we eat” goes the wise old phrase. And so it may be that part of our unconscious psyche is what it dreams about eating. It means we can learn a great deal by analysing these dreams as we reveal so much about ourselves by our attitudes to food. “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are,” wrote Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarinin his seven-volume book The Physiology of Taste in 1826. He believed that our emotional and mental health can be determined by what we eat, and our true character displayed. For almost two centuries since then, the idea that good food is not just linked to good health, but also good character has stayed with us.

The dream:

It’s your first date and your emotions are running high. Newly single, you haven’t been on the dating scene for years and can’t decide if you feel more excited or terrified. But with high hopes for the evening, you arrive at the restaurant early and are shown to your table.

Your date arrives and you immediately hit it off. You both order starters and enjoy the food while having a great time getting to know each other. You both order lobster, oysters, caviar and a whole series of exotic dishes, each one even more delicious than the last.

Then after you offer to pay, the bill comes. Your chin almost hits the floor when you see the damage. In all the excitement you lost track of just how much it was adding up. Your credit card isn’t going to be able to cover this. What will your date think? What a nightmare! Then you wake up. It was all a dream. But what could it possibly mean?

Variations of the dream:

Whether you’re eating in a fancy restaurant, are cooking food at home, are sharing food or are hungry for food, each dream may have different meanings.

Here, we explore the most popular food dreams in more detail:

1. Dreams about eating food

Devouring some delicious food in your dream is said to be a symbol of your love for another. It indicates your true nurturing and caring nature. At the same time, this dream relates to some form of enjoyment and satisfaction, according to Dream Meaning. You are fulfilling and indulging in the good things in life at present. The dream signals that a pleasant period of your life is about to come your way.

2. Dreams about cooking food

This dream can be a reflection of the fulfillment of your desires. This may happen quite soon, but unexpectedly and in an unusual way. This dream is also said to indicate someone inviting you to a gathering soon.

According to Aunty Flo baking in a dream highlights your sensitivity to others, “If you are baking for other people, this dream serves as a recommendation to take the center stage and be more outgoing in social circumstances. When we bake food, it means we are giving something to someone or ourselves.”

3. Dreams about eating birthday cake

If you have dreamed of a birthday cake, whether you ate some, blew out the candles or sang happy birthday around it – such dream is a positive sign said to symbolise the love and support of those closest to you.

Birthday cakes often appear in our dreams when it’s time to celebrate success or a happy occasion. If you dream that you eat a birthday cake and this suggests that success will likely be yours, according to Aunty Flo.

4. Dreams about eating fruit

Fruit is symbolic of a goal achievement, the end of a growth process. A round fruit in dreams may represent what Jung calls “the Self in all its nourishing naturalness, an image of our wholeness.” According to Dreamsopedia, dreaming about about eating fruit is a symbol for your raw emotions and signals a need to restore yourself in some basic way.

Answering the dream:

Dreams about food and eating are referenced in the earliest historical writings on dreams. Freud believed children have the simplest dreams as they have less complicated psychic lives. He presented his own children’s simple dreams as evidence for wish fulfillment. In one, his eight-year-old daughter dreamed of colourfully wrapped chocolate bars. Her mother had denied her similar chocolates earlier that day.

And predating the work of Freud, dream interpreter Gustavus Hindman Miller’s 10,000 Dreams Interpreted includes sections on food and drink. He gives highly detailed interpretations of what dreaming about specific foods mean. “To dream of seeing a bed of radishes growing, is an omen of good luck. Such a dream foretells that your friends will be unusually kind, and your business will prosper. If you eat them, you will suffer slightly through the thoughtlessness of someone near to you. To see radishes, or plant them, denotes that your anticipations will be happily realised,” explained Miller.


Notable appearances in popular culture:

We have to eat. It’s one thing that connects every human and animal on the planet. But in recent times food has become more than just fuel for living. Over recent decades, food has increasingly become a more prominent, diverse and joyful point of cultural interest. When an episode of The Great British Bakeoff can draw a larger audience than the World Cup final it’s clear how popular food shows on television have become.

Today food shapes our lives, perceptions and identities. Food has invaded popular culture to the extent that now what we eat has begun to define the culture. From the mouthwatering and beautifully shot foody pictures flooding Instagram feeds to the explosion of food-based shows that Netflix and other streaming services add every week, the reality is that now food culture is popular culture.

Find out more about dreams that evoke strong emotions by reading our articles on being chased in your dream, why your teeth fall out in your dream and what it means to be late in your dream.

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