Chowing Down in North Dakota: Why We’re the Early Bird State
You know, I might not be a senior citizen, but I've developed a real knack for what some folks around here call an "early bird dinner." We're talking about that evening meal, which we affectionately refer to as "supper," and I'm all in for it as early as 4:30 pm.
Why? Well, besides giving my body a chance to tackle those calories efficiently, it just makes me feel good, and I sleep like a baby. And let's be honest, my early dinner habits probably have something to do with the fact that I'm up and at 'em to host a morning show.
My day kicks off around 5:00 am, and my trusted companion in the early hours is a piping hot cup of coffee. Then, somewhere around 11:00 am, I whip up a protein smoothie. Lunch isn't skipped, either; I make sure to snack around 1:00 pm. But the real star of the show? That's my dinner, which usually lands on my plate somewhere between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm.
And you can bet your dessert spoon that I'm indulging in something sweet around 6:00 pm. Here's the kicker: I've had a steadfast personal rule for years, and it's a simple one - no eating after 7:00 pm. (Well, unless I'm on vacation, but hey, that's when all the rules go out the window, right?)
I prefer my dinner on the early side of things, but I can't help but wonder if folks around the United States have different dinner habits. You see, meal times are a curious thing. While lunchtime tends to be a no-brainer, with most people sitting down around noon, it seems like the dinner hour is where things get interesting.
In the post-pandemic world, it seems like early dining isn't just for retirees anymore. It's a trend that's catching on all over America.
There's a growing demand for earlier dining hours, which means everyone gets to call it a night sooner rather than later. The Wall Street Journal even spilled the beans that restaurants are now reserving a whopping 10% of their tables for diners between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm. That's a 5% bump from the pre-pandemic days, as per Yelp.
People all over the country are hopping on the early dinner bandwagon, and guess what? It's not just happening in sunny Florida!
When you look at the national average, most Americans have their dinner somewhere between 5:07 pm and 8:19 pm, with 6:19 pm being the golden hour for supper.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state leading the charge for the earliest dinner time is Pennsylvania, where folks are chowing down at around 5:37 pm. Why do they eat so early? Well, the experts aren't quite sure, but some reckon it has something to do with the state's diverse work and commuting schedules. Following closely behind Pennsylvania, we have Maine, where dinner often hits the table at 5:40 pm.
As for North Dakota, well, we're right in the mix, tied for the third earliest dinner time at 6:00 pm. And we're not alone – Vermont, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Alaska are all in on this early dinner action.
Montana also gets an honorable mention, coming in seventh place with dinner typically served at 6:05 pm.
Now, if you're looking for the night owls, you won't have to travel far. Washington, D.C. takes the crown for the latest average dinner time, with most residents sitting down for supper around 7:10 pm.
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