Where Did the Food on the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Set Come From?

If you were a fan of Little House on the Prairie, you likely noticed all the hearty meals the Ingalls family used to eat. When it was time for dinner, they had a table full of food. Here’s what Melissa Gilbert revealed about what was on their dinner plates and where they got some of their meals.

What the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ cast ate for dinner

What exactly were the Little House on the Prairie cast members eating during dinner time? In her book My Prairie Cookbook, Gilbert reveals the cast often ate fried chicken. They also ate chicken and dumplings, Dinty Moore beef stew, Pillsbury biscuits, pies, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Gilbert says the Nellie Oleson character and her family ate roast beef, potatoes, green beans, and gravy.

Where did the food on ‘Little House on the Prairie’ come from?

Food was gathered from more than one source. Gilbert says the fried chicken came from Kentucky Fried Chicken. “We ate a lot of fried chicken on Little House,” wrote Gilbert. “Cross my heart, it’s true: The fried chicken we ate on Little House on the Prairie was from KFC.” The pies came from the local grocery store and the rest of the food was from the cafeteria on the Paramount studios lot.

Gilbert says there was always a lot of food left over after they shot their scenes. Instead of throwing food away, the cast and crew would eat the leftovers. “Whatever the food was, there were always leftovers, and the cast and crew would devour them!” wrote Gilbert.

Melissa Gilbert says she was on a strict diet

Gilbert says in her book Prairie Tale that she wasn’t allowed to have any sugar at home. She was thrilled when she had to film an episode for Little House on the Prairie titled “Mr. Edward’s Homecoming.” She says her character, Laura Ingalls, had to have her tonsils removed.

The Dr. Baker character helped break the news to Laura by offering her a gum drop. Gilbert says she was excited because every time she had to do another take, she received a new gum drop.

“Since I wasn’t allowed any sugar at home, getting a piece of candy was like being hand an Oscar, and I savored every bite of that magnificent candy,” wrote Gilbert. She says her mother watched her with disapproval as she filmed the scene, but she had to eat candy for work, so there was nothing she could do about it.

Gilbert says her mother was strict when it came to food, so she would often sneak sweets from her friend’s house. “My mother didn’t permit candy, cookies, or anything else with sugar in the house,” wrote Gilbert. “No Twinkies, none of the good stuff I found in my friend Collette’s house. She lived up the street, and I’d go up to her house, grab a handful of candy, and sneak it back home and into my room.”

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