18 Foods Boomers Grew Up With That Gen Z Won’t Even Try

Food preferences evolve over time as culinary trends shift and new ingredients and manufacturing methods become available. What was once a staple dinner table item for Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964) might now be met with distaste and rejection by Generation Z (born 1997–2012). Here are 18 nostalgic foods that young people would never touch!

Liver and Onions

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Not everyone can cope with the idea of eating organs, especially not the younger generation who weren’t raised on dishes like this—calf or beef liver pan-fried with sauteed onions. Despite being a good source of protein and iron for Boomers, its slimy texture and metallic taste are now unappealing for Gen Z.

Jell-O Salads

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Guide2Free writes, “Baby boomers embraced creative gelatin-based salads, often combining unlikely ingredients like canned fruits, vegetables, and even mayonnaise.” Once a common addition to potlucks and family gatherings, Jell-O salads are now reviled by the younger generation, who weren’t raised on gelatinous, molded concoctions!


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This ground meat dish of beef, pork, and various seasonings was a popular family meal for Boomers, but it doesn’t have lasting appeal. The dense consistency of processed meat and sometimes bland flavor can be unappealing to Gen Z. Young people are more likely to opt for leaner protein sources and more exciting flavors.

Blood Sausage

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Food Republic reports that this sausage of blood, grains, and spices exists in various guises worldwide. In the U.S., ‘blood sausages’ were a common breakfast item a few decades ago but have since fallen in popularity and are now only available in communities where they have cultural significance. This is because many Gen Zers dislike the idea of eating blood.

Deviled Eggs

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Hard-boiled eggs were halved and then filled with their mashed yolks mixed with mayonnaise, mustard, and spices. They were a near-ubiquitous party appetizer for Boomers but have slowly declined in popularity—perhaps due to their old-fashioned appearance or unusual texture. Now, young people tend to opt for more modern, sophisticated finger foods.

Cottage Cheese

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This soft, curd cheese was a popular breakfast or snack food for Boomers and often appeared on dieting menus as an acceptably low-fat snack (with or without pineapple chunks!). The very mild flavor, lumpy appearance, and moist, crumbly texture do not appeal to Gen Z, who often seek cheeses that are creamier or bolder in taste.

TV Dinners

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A popular 1950s convenience food, these single-serving trays featured frozen meat, vegetables, and sometimes a dessert, which could be cooked quickly with zero preparation. Younger generations tend to shy away from ultra-convenient, processed foods, so TV dinners have become an outdated mealtime relic!


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According to CNN, the ‘grapefruit diet’ started in the 1930s. However, this round, tangy fruit went through a revival in the 1970s, with “more people… consuming [it] largely because of its status as a ‘diet food,’” says Everyday Health. Boomers enjoyed it as a vitamin-C-rich breakfast option, loaded with sugar to counteract the bitter acidity of the fruit. Modern diners often choose sweeter, more visually appealing fruits like strawberries and kiwis.

Creamed Corn

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This side dish featured corn kernels mashed and cooked in milk or a cream sauce and was a staple accompaniment to Boomer-time meals. Gen Z doesn’t seem to appreciate this outdated vegetable option, though: perhaps they dislike the mushy texture, high-fat content, or excessive creaminess. They tend to opt for roasted or steamed veggies instead.


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This German sausage, made from liver, other organs, and ground meat, was a common addition to sandwiches and lunch boxes in the Boomer era. The strong, pungent taste and the spreadable internal texture can be off-putting to Gen Z, who tend to avoid anything containing offal and often prefer less overpowering flavors.


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This green vegetable was often served steamed or roasted as a common side dish for Boomers but has declined in popularity since the 1980s. It has a strong, grassy flavor and can be tough and stringy if left to grow to a larger size. Gen Z tends to lean toward more fashionable greens, like spinach, kale, and mange tout.

Green Bean Casserole

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Boomers often enjoyed this baked side dish of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, fried onions, and crispy shallots as a popular addition to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. Click Orlando says it’s now one of America’s most disliked holiday dishes, with Gen Z rejecting the false, overly fussy dish for simpler alternatives.


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It seems that any combination of savory ingredients in a gelatinous mold is not something young people want to eat anymore! Made with gelatin, broth, vegetables, meat, or seafood, aspic was a typical appetizer or side dish in many Boomer households. Today’s youth prefer more visually attractive offerings and cleaner flavor profiles.

Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese

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While homemade mac ‘n’ cheese remains a beloved comfort food, this frozen version has declined in popularity since its heyday as an easy meal option for busy Boomer families. The artificial taste of the sauce, the low nutritional value, and the lack of fresh ingredients may all be off-putting to younger people, raised long after wartime rationing!

Canned Fruit Cocktail

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A quick and easy Boomer dessert, canned fruit cocktail was a brightly colored mix of diced peaches, pears, cherries, and grapes suspended in a heavy syrup. Despite containing fruit, the nutritional value was lost in the processing and canning process, and the intensely sweet syrup is no longer something modern diners appreciate.


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Spam is an intensely processed, low-quality meat product created as a wartime necessity to bolster meat rations. While it may hold some nostalgia for Boomers, its salty, gelatinous texture and fattiness do not appeal to younger people, who prefer their meat to be meaty (not mushy!).

Ambrosia Salad

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This dessert salad is simply a bit too retro for most Gen Zers! It’s prepared by mixing fluffy marshmallows, canned mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks, shredded coconut, and whipped cream or Cool Whip. While it may look colorful and appealing, the intensely sweet, overly processed flavors are disliked by young people, who prefer fresh, whole foods.

Prune Juice

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Once widely consumed for its digestive benefits (a good constipation cure), prune juice has since fallen out of favor with younger generations. Its strong medicinal flavor and heavy association with older people make it an unfashionable choice for Gen Z, who generally opt for fresh juices, sodas, and energy drinks.

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