A WWII Christmas | Food Rationing & Recipes in World War II

WTG - WWII Christmas

Food Rationing and Recipes in World War II

by Tricia Goyer


Going grocery shopping and cooking may be a chore, but not like it was during World War II. During the war, many things were rationed. This meant families were only allowed a small amount each. Some items weren’t available at all.

Recently, I wrote a book set during WWII. In Where Treetops Glisten, my main character, Meredith, is a nurse on the war front. During Christmas 1945 she is stationed in The Netherlands, and the fighting is thick in the Battle of the Bulge. 1945 in The Netherlands was considered the “Hunger Winter” because there was so little food. Things weren’t nearly as bad in the United States, but everyone sacrificed so the troops could have food.

ration bookSugar, butter, and meat were rationed, but that was only a start. Here is a list of other food items rationed during the war:

Sugar: May 1942 – 1947
Coffee: November 1942 – July 1943
Processed foods: March 1943- August 1945
Meats, canned fish: March 1943 – November 1945
Cheese, canned milk, fats: March 1943 – November 1945


With the rationing came recipes.

A typical recipe ad contained between three and six recipes, sometimes as many as a dozen or more. Some advertisers like Frigidaire and Armour also offered free ration-oriented cookbooks containing, on average, about eighty recipes. Even Lysol, which had nothing to do with food preparation except cleaning up the kitchen afterwards, offered its free “Victory Cook Book” of eighty-one recipes with every purchase of the disinfectant.

ration recipes

Want to try one of these recipes? Why not try Chocolate Potato Cake?

For rationing discussion questions and recipes, head over to FreeHomeschoolDeals.com to download the free printable!


About Tricia Goyer

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 5.54.26 PMUSA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of over 35 books, including the three-book Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and “Lead Your Family Like Jesus,” (co-written with Ken Blanchard). She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like TheBetterMom.com and MomLifeToday.com. She is the host of Living Inspired, a weekly radio show. Tricia and family live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children. You can find out more about Tricia at www.TriciaGoyer.com.


About Where Treetops Glisten

Where Treetops GlistenThe crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime.

Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas.

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?

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  1. Wow Tricia we just don’t know how good we have it today. May God help us not to take things for granted. May we be thankful each and every day for all the blessings He pours down on us !
    As for the war time rationing recipes I will need to copy these so I can see them. Would be great for each and every one of us to try a recipe so we can see what our parents or grandparents ate during that time. Carrot pie? We still have carrot cake today. Did that come from WW11 rationing as well?
    This is very interesting and thanks for sharing all of this with us.
    Merry Christmas

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