In Britain during the war, strict food rationing was in place with only a few exceptions.
‘A green ration book issued to pregnant women on the production of a medical certificate entitled them to receive orange juice, cod liver oil, vitamin A and D tablets, an extra pint of milk a day, an extra half ration of meat a week, and an extra egg per allocation.’
As well as sunlight, fresh air and peace from air raids, the mothers and staff at Willersley were able to eat healthily. Although the land surrounding the home is too rocky for a kitchen garden, Miss Troth said they had been extremely fortunate in getting a continuous supply of fresh vegetables, fruit, tomatoes and salad ingredients, from neighbouring farmers. “We try to give as much variety in meals as possible, to get away from institutional diet in the ordinary sense of the word, and we have had so much fruit given to us that we have been able to make a fair amount of jam and chutney,” she added.
The letters from Margaret Gaye’s mother, Alice Springett sent daily to her husband Stan in London, listed with great detail the wholesome meals she was fed:
“We had fish for breakfast yesterday, with cornflakes and bread and butter, roast pork, stuffing, broad beans and potatoes, plums, pastry and custard for dinner, bread and butter and cake for tea, and spam, beetroot and lettuce, and trifle for supper, sounds alright doesn’t it?
We have tea and piece of bread and butter at 5AM, and breakfast at 9AM. It seems to me that the 5AM is breakfast and the 9AM dinner. PS. Have just found another mars bar, eaten.”
“We had nice stewed steak, potatoes and greens, with a large portion of syrup roll for dinner yesterday, spam and salad, and semolina and plums, for supper. “
“Have just had dinner which was stewed steak, cauliflower and potatoes, steamed pudding, plums and custard, and the usual cup of milk. Sweets are brought round which you can buy, you have to give points for them of course, so I bought 2 bars of blended chocolate.”