Eating

Introductory Essay

"Canada has determined to change the eating habits of a nation, because she has learned that efficient production of food is only half the victory. It takes efficient... Read Full Essay »

Christmas in uniform

Few soldiers enjoyed being away from home at Christmas - but a proper Christmas dinner might have helped to soften the blow.

A Christmas menu

This hand-coloured menu may seem modest, but it would have represented a significant departure from a soldier's regular fare.

Alphamin - for the fighting man

"The health of a nation is one of its armaments" - and in the absence of a balanced diet because of wartime shortages, vitamin supplements were a way to keep the Allied war effort healthy.

View PDF: Alphamin.pdf

Another Christmas away from home

The menu was impressive, but the note at the bottom indicated that they might have to resort to tinned rations at the last minute.

Christmas in Germany

With the war over, soldiers of the 5th Battalion enjoyed Christmas 1918 in Germany, where they were serving with the occupation forces.

Food for Health in Peace and War

The Canadian Medical Association released this booklet of nutritional information, cooking instructions, and shopping tips to teach housewives the proper kind and amount of food to buy, to keep the entire family strong and healthy during wartime.

Victory Cook Book

This collection of recipes was released by the Navy League Chapter of the I.O.E.D. to raise money towards war work. Find out what women on the homefront cooked for their families.

"Brightening up the drabbest corners of your home"

Wartime restrictions meant making do with what was available - and this booklet provided many ways to breathe new life into old products by using Tintex tints and dyes.

Rationing in wartime Britain

Toronto physician Norman Harris joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1916, and in 1918 was with a Canadian hospital in Seaford, in southern England. This card permitted him to purchase rationed food from a local shop.

Fighting the war by feeding the family

Everything was militarized during the Second World War, including the household economy. Women became "housoldiers" whose job was to prepare "appetizing and nourishing meals that protect and preserve the health of their families."

View PDF: Housoldiers.pdf

Living on a soldier's pay

Through menu suggestions, nutrition tips, and budget advice, this booklet aimed to help a soldier's wife make the best use of her husband's assigned pay and dependents' allowance.

View PDF: Budgetting.pdf

"Thrift - Economy - Production"

Much of this booklet dealt with stretching wartime rations, but it also addressed thrift and economy in a more general sense, with tips on how to curb waste in the home.

View PDF: How to Live.pdf

Christmas dinner in Champlain Barracks

To celebrate the holiday season in 1943, Number 26 Canadian Army (Basic) Training Centre in Orillia, Ontario, held a special dinner. This menu was saved by Trooper A.E. Stone.

Farewell to Edmonton

It was not unusual for units to have banquets before they left for service overseas - although the illustration chosen by the sergeants of the 51st Battalion might seem a little odd.

Coupons for food

During the Second World War, Canadians became accustomed to rationing, which forced them to submit coupons in order to purchase commodities that the government had designated as scarce.

A special dinner for signallers

The Toronto-raised 134th Battalion sailed to England in the early spring of 1916, and was eventually broken up to provide reinforcements for other units in the field.

Christmas dinner at the front

To mark Christmas 1916, the officers of a unit of the Canadian Army Service Corps held a formal dinner near the front. The menu card, which all in attendance signed, imagines the commanding officer rising through the ranks to become a field marshal in 1940, and then returning to civilian life in 1960.

Recipe ideas from BC Electric

Wartime rationing made it difficult to prepare tasty and varied meals, but in these pamphlets British Columbia Electric had some suggestions for Christmas dinners, entertaining on special occasions, and quick meals for "the business woman and war workers, for housewives who give much of their time to patriotic work."

"The first line of defense lies in the kitchen"

Originally intended to commemorate the Royal Visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Canada in 1939, the book was not published until after the Second World War began. Among the contributors were Lady Tweedsmuir and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Turning ration stamps into healthy meals

Dedicated to "the Canadian Homemaker Whose Time is so Generously Devoted to the War Effort," this book offered hints on keeping the family fit, how to stretch the meat ration, wartime ingredient substitutions, "colourful salads in wartime menus," and desserts under rationing.

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