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NEW YORK — The saying is true: you can’t teach an old dog new tricks — or at least older people. A new survey finds 38 percent of baby boomers feel they’re too old to change their ways, especially when it comes to the holidays.

The OnePoll survey of 1,000 millennials and 1,000 baby boomers reveals that 81 percent of young adults are more open to change than their baby boomer parents and grandparents. Even in the kitchen, things are changing so quickly that two-thirds of millennials say they will be turning traditional holiday meals into plant-based alternatives.

Baby Boomers Holiday Menu

The survey, commissioned by Eat Just, Inc., aimed to uncover how different generations feel about change as the holidays approach. Perhaps surprisingly, researchers discovered half of baby boomers say they will prepare at least one plant-based version of a holiday dish this year.

Thirty-one percent of all respondents are planning for a family member who is eating more plant-based foods. Despite this greener outlook, 68 percent of baby boomers still prefer to follow traditions. Another 39 percent of baby boomers like to stick closely to traditions when it comes to the holidays, in particular.

That’s true for holiday meal time, too. Gathering a variety of different palettes and diets around the same table can be challenging for 42 percent of baby boomers, who say their children eat much differently now compared to when they were young.

A healthy holiday? Not for baby boomers

When asked about how each generation plans to eat over the holidays, one in five baby boomers says they have absolutely zero plans to eat healthily. That’s a stark difference from the 74 percent of millennials who plan on choosing healthy holiday dishes. These dietary differences are also spurring concern for millennials when it comes to their parent’s health. Two in three millennials say their parents’ diet concerns them.

Sixty-one percent of young adults say their parents simply refuse to change their ways — specifically their diets.

“Finding a common ground between millennials and baby boomers can be a challenge. This holiday season, despite the reluctance for parents to adopt healthier lifestyles, millennials will be serving up healthier versions of traditional holiday dishes — in the hopes of bringing everyone together, even if it is virtually” a spokesperson for Eat Just, Inc. says in a statement.

Changing things up in 2020

Baby Boomers Holiday Menu

Despite this reluctance to try something new, over half (55%) of all those surveyed say they do indeed plan to change things up this year in some way. Four in 10 people (39%) plan on having smaller celebrations while another 34 percent are getting more involved in the meal preparation and cooking this holiday season.

From cooking different foods than usual to spending the holidays without the whole family, this holiday season is going to be very different. The survey also reveals 44 percent will be making plant-based versions of traditional dishes to accommodate the varying diets and palettes of everyone still coming to dinner. Of course, millennials are planning on serving up more plant-based dishes than their baby boomer elders.

Despite this, seven in 10 respondents still expect to see certain dishes on the holiday table. From mashed potatoes (44%) and apple pie (39%) to sweet potatoes (45%) and pecan pie (31%), Americans still want some aspects of traditional holiday meals this year.

“Americans are seeking ways to enjoy their favorite, traditional holiday dishes while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As a result, people will be switching things up with their holiday menus by incorporating more plant-based ingredients into their dishes to accommodate a variety of diets and lifestyles” the spokesperson for Eat Just, Inc. adds.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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