The early pioneers didn't have big stores when they settled on the land out west. They had to hunt for food or fish for food. They would pick berries and other fruits. Then they had to learn how to farm and grow things like corn and squash. Sometimes the Indians helped them learn how to farm. They raised animals on their farm so that they could have food to eat, too.
When the villages got bigger, general stores were built. The general stores would get supplies that the pioneers could buy. Gristmills were built. These mills made the flour for the pioneers so they didn't have to do it themselves. If a pioneer made their own flour, it took a long time.
The pioneers didn't have the same kind of boxed food we have now. They didn't have as much food as we have now. The pioneers did have flour, tea, salt, sugar, coffee, bacon, dried fruit, dried beans, cornmeal, split peas, oatmeal, vinegar, pickles, dried beef, salt pork, assorted spices, water, vegetables, wheat, and lots of other stuff. This food was brought to the general stores from the east for the pioneers to buy.
The pioneers learned how to keep foods from spoiling by using a root cellar or smoke house or an ice house. They learned how to can things. This means they made things like jelly and put them in jars to use later.
The pioneers made food from scratch. Each family had their favorite recipes for meals like pancakes, stews, soups, breads, and treats.
Here are some recipes that looked easy for kids to try: