Dreaming of food is relatively common for some people, yet others will dream of food hardly at all. Even if the dream is of seeing, trying to attain or having some food, the actual act of eating may not be dominant in the dream. This may be because in waking life we pay little attention to eating, often doing other things such as watching TV or working while we eat, so the textures, tastes and sensations of eating are not so noticeable to us, and the visual or auditory signals play a more important role.
When we do dream of food then, it may take on a more symbolic meaning. The act of eating can play important physical and psychological roles in our life. We eat to survive, but we also eat to feel certain ways, an our dreams can reflect this. Dreams of food invite us to consider:
- Are we in need of nourishment, either spiritually or emotionally?
- What are we doing in life to feed our soul, or to feed our imagination?
- How are we ensuring we have enough energy to get through a difficult time?
- How in touch with our body and feelings are we?
While different foods can have very different meanings for those who dream of them, we can start to understand food dreams by thinking back to when in our lives this particular food may have been important to us. Was this food a comfort food when going through a break-up? Was this food something your mother made to show her love, your grandmother made to make you feel better when you were sick, your dad gave you as weekend treat? This can be our own dreaming mind behaving as mother, grandmother or father, trying to give us a message of love, comfort or being treated, especially if in waking life we have been hard on ourselves, or been having some kind of difficulties. Dreaming of a banquet or lavish spread can indicate general abundance in life, not just in terms of material comforts, but a sense of having as much as you need of everything: love, time, friendship etc. Or maybe the opposite is true, and we “too much on our plate” which can imply we need to simply our life a little! Similarly, dreaming of an empty table, bare cupboards, empty plates and so on can indicate we feel we are not getting the nourishment we need in life, that we are missing out on something that is vitally important to our well-being. Sharing food in a dream can be a very rewarding feeling, creating a sense that there is something of value we are able to offer to others. In waking life this may be someone we are caring for, providing guidance, assistance or emotional support in some way. To be offered food in a dream can be our subconscious mind trying to give us a gift, so if we have influence in such a dream we should try to accept it. It may not be immediately obvious what this gift is, but just as food in waking life give us energy, makes us stronger, provides immunity from diseases and helps us to grow, so too can our subconscious mind “feed” us psychologically.
The phrase “you are what you eat” is especially true in dreams, where everything, even objects, can reflect a part of our own self. To understand the meaning of a particular food in a dream, it can be helpful to describe it. Try asking, how am I like this food? Is it warm and comforting, substantial and hearty, light and refreshing? Fast food in dreams may be a sign of trying to sustain our self on something that seems easy, but provides little real value.
While we may not recall taste all that often, when we do, it can be helpful to look at how we would describe the taste itself. Was the food bitter or sweet? Did it leave a bad taste in your mouth, or was it absolutely delicious? We can then look for experiences in our waking life that this might relate to.
Dreaming of food can also be a signal from our subconscious that we physically need to eat a certain food when awake. If we are lacking a certain nutrient, such as fibre or vitamin C, we may dream of vegetables or orange juice, as our subconscious dreaming mind picks up the subtle messages from our body and attempts to communicate with our conscious mind.
Dreaming of food can be a way to heal and care for our selves on may levels. We may even dream of eating bad food, or something that is poisonous. This is often a sure sign that some belief we hold, a behaviour we are engaging in, or relationship we have is not good for us and may be even “poisoning” us. It might be time to consider our emotional needs and what is healthy for us. If we dream of something getting stuck in our throats, there may be some information some one is telling us, or maybe even a story we are telling ourselves, that we find “hard to swallow.” Maybe we need to take a second look. Dreaming of not being able to finish eating something, or of trying to eat something large can be a sign that we feel somewhere in life we may have “bitten off more than we can chew.”
It is also not unusual to dream of food when we are dieting, as we spend so much time thinking about what we are denying ourselves, that our subconscious mind will go on dreaming about it even as we dream. In a similar way, starving people often dream of food, as the body cries out for what it needs and the subconscious mind can’t ignore it.
While we will often dream of familiar foods, sometimes we will dream of exotic new foods, and maybe even things we have never really tasted in waking life. This often happens when we are having or seeking new experiences, and our minds are being opened to new exciting delights.
Food dreams ask us to consider what is healthy for us, what sustains us and how we can share with others. In waking life, if we start to pay more attention to what we eat, to savour the taste and be consciously grateful for what we have, our dreaming mind will recognise this, and is likely to reward us with dreams of delicious experiences and abundance.