Adults love breaking these rules that they followed as kids, study finds

New research conducted by One Poll and commissioned by Carvel reveals the rules adults had as kids that they now break. (Photo by Heather Barnes on Unsplash)

If you could eat like a kid again, what would be on the menu?

New research pinpointed the country’s dream menu and found that Americans would indulge in two helpings of pizza, yogurt, ice cream and finish with apple pie.

The survey of 2,000 Americans gave respondents a pre-qualified list of options and found that they were most likely to cite yogurt for breakfast, a snack of ice cream throughout the day and pizza for both lunch and dinner.

Those with room would end the day with an apple pie dessert.

Commissioned by Carvel and conducted by OnePoll, the survey found that adults definitely enjoy owning their independence — and break all those rules moms busted them for in their youth.

Fifty-one percent of respondents admitted to eating on the couch, while one in two embraced the classic treat and ate breakfast for dinner.

No one is going to tell an adult that snacking before dinner will spoil their meal, so half of respondents said they’ve indulged in a tasty bite before their evening meal.

Sugary snacks before bed (45 percent) was another rule that was just too much fun to break. Thirty-seven percent confessed to “living their best lives” and having dessert for dinner.

Desserts that topped the list of all-time favorites included milkshakes, chocolate chip cookies, ice cream cake and cheesecake.

While respondents embraced their adult independence, there were still behaviors that they secretly would love to do today.

Forty-three percent wished to eat with their hands, while 38 percent have had an urge to blow bubbles in their drink.

Sometimes not all the food at the dinner table can be to a person’s liking. Thirty-seven percent wished they could hide the food they weren’t a fan of and 35 percent would take it a step further and sneak food to the dog.

“We’ve consistently seen in our shoppes that adult guests look for those products where they can feel like a kid again,” said a spokesperson for Carvel.

Three in four respondents revealed they have a sweet tooth. People are likely to reach for treats late at night (68 percent) or after a hard day (81 percent).

If folks are out and about at a shop, then 59 percent said they’d prefer a classic milkshake treat ‒ and chocolate was by far the favorite flavor, with 35 percent.

The spokesperson for Carvel added, “We love being in the space of transporting you back to your childhood. If ice cream can create a moment of joy for someone then it’s a welcomed invitation.”


  1. Eat on the couch 51%
  2. Breakfast for dinner 50%
  3. Snacks before dinner 50%
  4. Eat sugary food before bed 45%
  5. Dessert for dinner 37%
  6. Not eating all my vegetables 16%


  1. Eat with your hands 43%
  2. Blow bubbles in a drink 38%
  3. Hiding food you don’t like 37%
  4. Playing with your food 36%
  5. Giving food to the dog 35%
  6. Blowing straw wrapper at someone 33%
  7. Avoiding vegetables 32%
  8. Throwing food 32%


  1. Yogurt
  2. Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich
  3. Ice cream
  4. Sausage
  5. Pancakes with chocolate chips


  1. Pizza
  2. Fried chicken
  3. Hamburgers
  4. Potato salad
  5. Ice cream


  1. Ice cream
  2. Chips
  3. French fries
  4. Cupcakes
  5. Cheese fries


  1. Pizza
  2. Fried chicken
  3. Spaghetti and meatballs
  4. Hamburger
  5. Roasted chicken


  1. Apple pie
  2. Milkshakes
  3. Chocolate chip cookies
  4. Ice cream cake
  5. Cheesecake

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

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