IELTS speaking vocabulary about food and nutrition

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Food is an everyday part of our lives which is why it often comes up as a topic at the IELTS speaking exam. To prepare for such questions you should practice words and phrases related to food. Below we’ve answered the questions for you.


We’ve included some common collocations (highlighted) and explained them in the lexicon at the base of the page.

Examples of IELTS speaking part 1 questions

Examiner: What food do you like to eat?

Answer: I am not a fussy eater. As long as you don’t feed me rabbit food I’m easy to please. My flatmate and I share the cooking chores. Once a week we make a slap-up meal of steak and chips covered in a rich sauce and to satisfy the sweet tooth we finish off with a decadent chocolate pudding.

Examiner: So, do you enjoy cooking?

Answer: I prefer eating to cooking. I make good use of ready meals and I am not averse to junk food or the occasional pub lunch. I realize though that it is necessary to include nutritious food in my diet, which is why I cook several times a week.

Examiner: What’s your favourite meal of the day?

Answer: I’m a breakfast fan. I wake up starving hungry after a good night’s sleep. I like nothing better than a good English breakfast of bacon, eggs, and buttery toast, along with a piping hot cup of coffee.

IELTS speaking part 2 question

Examiner: Tell me about your favourite restaurant

In this question, you should discuss

  • the restaurant that you like best,
  • why you like it,
  • and the occasions when you go there.

Answer: I enjoy fine dining and exotic food. Both are available at my favourite restaurant in the centre of town. On special occasions I take my partner wining and dining. We love the ambience of the candle-lit dinners, and the extensive menu of mouth-watering meals.

The menu includes starters, mains and deserts. Usually by the time we get there I am dying of hunger so we order a starter to calm the hunger pangs. We usually also share a bottle of bubbly. It is after all a celebration. Having finished our starter we take our time, savouring the food.

This is not the type of restaurant where you would ask for a doggy bag, so we waste nothing. We end the evening with a delicious dessert. After settling the bill, we head off home, satisfied that we have enjoyed a scrumptious meal.

IELTS speaking part 3 questions

Examiner: Do you believe that the 21st Century diet is a healthy one?

Answer: Far too many people are overweight. I believe that people should cut down on sugars and refined carbohydrates and replace them with leafy vegetables and seasonal fruits. A balanced diet would help them to regulate their weight.

Examiner: Starvation is a problem in many parts of the world. What do you think should be done about it?

Answer: From what I’ve read current global food production can cover the daily consumption needs of the world. We need to find a way to economically transport it to where it is most needed or find alternate food sources. Nobody should starve when there is no shortage of food.

Examiner: In homes where both parents work do you think cooking has become just another job at the end of the day?

Answer: I know that food preparation can be time-consuming, but if everyone helps with ideas and recipes and everyone takes a turn and lends a hand, cooking can be fun for the family. Home cooked meals are also often healthier and packed with vitamins.

Food vocabulary

  1. A balanced diet – A diet that has the right amount of nutrients
  2. A bottle of bubbly – Sparkling wine
  3. A decadent chocolate pudding – Luxurious or self-indulgent chocolate pudding
  4. A doggy bag – The leftovers of a meal in a restaurant taken home
  5. A scrumptious meal – A delicious meal
  6. A sweet tooth – An enjoyment of sweet food
  7. An English breakfast – A large cooked breakfast that includes egg and bacon
  8. Calm the hunger pangs – To reduce the discomfort caused by hunger
  9. Candle lit dinner – A romantic dinner by candlelight
  10. Covered in a rich sauce – Covered in a creamy gravy
  11. Cut down on – To reduce consumption
  12. Daily consumption – The amount that you eat everyday
  13. Dying of hunger – Very hungry
  14. Exotic meals – Meals that originate in other countries
  15. Fine dining – Food catering to expensive tastes in a formal setting
  16. Food preparation – Preparing food
  17. Food production – Producing food
  18. Fussy eater – Someone dislikes many foods
  19. Home cooked meals – Meals cooked at home
  20. Homemade food – Food made at home
  21. Junk food – Food with little nutritional value
  22. Leafy vegetables – Vegetables such as spinach and cabbage
  23. Mouth-watering meals – Delicious meals
  24. Nutritious food – Food with many nutrients
  25. Packed with vitamins – Full of vitamins
  26. Piping hot cup of coffee – Very hot coffee
  27. Pub lunch – Lunch served in a bar
  28. Rabbit food – Salad vegetables
  29. Ready meals – Heat and eat meals
  30. Refined carbohydrates – Foods such as white rice, white bread
  31. Savouring the food – Enjoying the food
  32. Scrumptious meal – An exceptionally tasty meal
  33. Seasonal fruits – Fruits that grow in season
  34. Starving hungry – Extremely hungry
  35. Wining and dining – Entertainment that includes good food

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