Food is a vital substance for Sims to consume, as it replenishes their hunger need. Over time, a Sim's hunger need will deplete. In the long run, not consuming food will cause a Sim to die of starvation. Throughout the series, food comes in a number of varieties, such as cooked meals, instant meals, snacks, and raw ingredients.
Initially, food only served to replenish a Sim's hunger. Later series enhanced the mechanism of food, such as requiring ingredients for cooking, changing a Sim's fitness and body shape, and giving special effects and benefits to Sims who eat certain food.
Food is usually obtained from a refrigerator, and depending on the recipe, will need to be prepared on a preparation surface or food processor, and/or be cooked using a stove or microwave. Sims can choose to have a meal, which will produce a single serving for themselves, or serve a meal, which will produce a serving platter that up to six Sims can get plates from. Sims can also choose to have a quick meal that requires minimal cooking, or obtain a snack that requires no preparation. In general, foods that require preparation and cooking are better at satisfying the hunger need than quickly prepared foods.
Alternatively, the player can opt for Sims to order takeout delivery. Certain types of foods, such as wedding and birthday cakes, may also be purchased from buy mode or a grocery store, ready to eat for the occasion.
Most food must be served in a plate or bowl, which will be "generated" out of thin air for the occasion. Once Sims are finished eating, empty plates and bowls will need to be washed in a sink or dishwasher. In The Sims 2 and The Sims 4, Sims without a sink or a dishwasher can throw empty or dirty dishes into the garbage. While dirty dishes can be disposed of in The Sims 3, Sims will not do this autonomously, and the player will have to manually drag dirty dishes into the garbage.
The Sims featured only a few types of food. Sims with a fridge can have a snack, or can prepare a meal. The meal will be either steak and beans, a salad, or a can of beans, depending on what else is available. If the Sim doesn't have, or can't get to, a stove, microwave, or toaster oven, the meal becomes a salad. If the Sim doesn't have, or can't get to, a preparation surface, the meal becomes a can of beans. Sims can choose to have a 'quick meal', which does not need to be prepared, but can be cooked for best results. Sims can use the BBQ grill to cook a plate of hamburgers. Sims do not have to buy food, but are instead charged each time they prepare a meal or have a snack. They are charged §20 for a group meal (which serves six), §10 for a single meal, and §5 for a snack. (If Unleashed is installed, they are not charged for meals prepared from a pantry, though they'll still be charged for snacks.) Sims can also use the phone to order pizza, which will cost them §40.
Later expansion packs provided more food for Sims to eat, including a birthday cake, cookies, and turkey. This food is bought from buy mode, and is ready to eat when purchased. Livin' Large added Servo, which will produce food when told to serve a meal. It's not very good food, but it is free. In Unleashed, dogs and cats can be fed pet food using a food bowl. The most significant upgrade was that of Makin' Magic, which provided a baker's oven which allows Sims to prepare more types of food, as long as the required ingredients were in the Sim's inventory.
|Fruitcake||Randomly brought over by neighboring sims as a gift.|
|Quick Meal||Cannot be taken from a pantry.[TS:U] Does not require preparation, but does require a stove, microwave, or toaster oven. If a Sim cannot get to a cooking surface, they will eat it raw. May be produced by the left side of a buffet table if on a residential lot.|
|Can of Beans Meal||Will only be made if a Sim doesn't have, or can't get to, a preparation surface.|
|Salad||Will only be made if a Sim doesn't have, or can't get to, a stove, microwave, or toaster oven. May be produced by the left side of a buffet table.|
|Steak and Beans||Requires both a preparation surface and a cooking appliance to make. May be produced by the center of the buffet table.|
|Sundae||Can only be ordered from a restaurant. May be produced by the right side of a buffet table on a community lot.|
|Dessert||Can only be ordered from a restaurant. May be produced by the right side of a buffet table on a community lot.|
|Hamburgers||Requires a barbecue in order to make. They will not satisfy Sims hunger for very long unless the Sim who made them has a high Cooking skill.|
|Pizza||Must be ordered using a telephone. Both adults and kids can order a pizza.|
|Granny Raymond's Holiday Cookies||New type of food originally available on the Sims website for download and included with Livin' Large and later expansions. Sims cannot make this meal; it is only available in Buy Mode, and cannot be deleted once it has been purchased without the use of cheats. Sims can eat them themselves, but if they are left out at night near a fireplace and a Christmas Tree and all the Sims on the lot are asleep, Santa Claus comes and delivers gifts.|
|Birthday cake||New type of food originally available on the Sims website for download and included with House Party and later expansions. Sims cannot make this meal; it is only available in Buy Mode and cannot be deleted once it has been purchased without the use of cheats. Sims can hold a "birthday party" with this cake, in which all playable Sims on the lot will go over and cheer the "birthday Sim" as they blow out the candles and grab a slice of cake. All Sims can then help themselves to a piece of cake after that. If the candles are not blown out after two hours, they will go out on their own, after which Sims cannot hold a party but can still eat the cake. The cake cannot be used to age Sims up. Will be produced by the right side of a buffet table on a residential lot.|
|SimFarm Turkey Dinner||New type of food originally available on the Sims website for download and included with House Party and later expansions. Sims cannot make this meal; it is only available in Buy Mode and cannot be deleted once it has been purchased without the use of cheats. When it is placed on the lot it will summon neighbors (some of them bringing gifts of flowers or boxes of chocolates) to the lot, but if no one greets them they will leave after a little while. It must be carved before being eaten and all nearby Sims will watch and applaud while it's being carved. Eating the turkey will make the Sims energy meter quickly go down, so Sims should not eat the turkey unless they have a full energy meter. May be produced by the center of the buffet table if on a residential lot.|
The Sims 2
Food in The Sims 2 is more complicated, featuring many new choices, like Mac and Cheese, Lobster Thermidor and Baked Alaska. Food is now classified into three types: snacks, meals, and dessert, with meals being further categorized as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sims are only able to prepare breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipes depending on the time of day; for instance, Sims cannot make pancakes in the afternoon, as it is classified as a breakfast food. Open for Business added the ability to make any type of food the Sim is able to prepare, except for a TV Dinner, at any time of the day, but the Sim will not eat or serve the food unless the player directs them to. Sims can use the phone to order pizza, which costs §40. With the University expansion pack, Sims can also order Chinese takeout, which costs §30.
The types of food Sims can prepare depends on their level in the cooking skill. Also, some foods require certain equipment to make, e.g. needing a microwave to make Cup O' Ramen.[University] If food preparation is interrupted, the food will be left as partially prepared. The player can click on the partially prepared meal and direct a Sim to discard it ("Clean Up") or to continue making it ("Resume Cooking"). In some cases, a Sim who does not have enough cooking skill to make the meal from scratch may not be able to finish making it once it has been started. During preparation of certain items, a milk carton appears. This carton has a missing person on the back, and depending on the meal, the person can be Bella Goth, the Tragic Clown, or the Social Bunny.
Unlike other games, Sims in The Sims 2 who have been instructed to serve a meal will attempt to set each individual place at the nearest dining surface when they have finished cooking. When doing so, they will take into account the number of Sims present on the lot, and will generally not set more places than there are available Sims.[n 1] Other Sims on the lot may autonomously seat themselves at the dining table and wait to be served. If Apartment Life is installed, Sims can cook and serve meals in the apartment communal area, if the necessary amenities are present. However, they are not able to eat at a neighbor's apartment.[n 2]
Sims who have less than three neat points can "Lick Clean" empty plates as a faster alternative to washing them, which will provide a slight hunger boost. They cannot lick clean bowls, however.
One difference from The Sims is that it's possible for a Sim to become distracted while waiting for their food to cook, especially if they're using an oven. This can result in a burned meal, or even a fire. Even if the Sim doesn't get distracted, they can still burn a meal, as even the best cooks don't always get it right. Another difference is that cold foods, such as cereal and lunch meat sandwiches, are available, so Sims with little Cooking skill can eat without risking fire. Also, The Sims 2 fridges occasionally have to be restocked, which means that it's necessary to buy groceries once in a while, either at a grocery store, or by using the phone or computer to have them delivered. Food is bought and stocked in units, which normally cost §2 apiece, though a Sim-owned business may charge more. If groceries are delivered, there is an extra §50 charge for delivery.
In Pets, dogs and cats can be fed using a food bowl or with pet treats. They can also be fed plates of Sim food that have been placed on the ground.[n 3] Pets can be trained to prefer eating pet food by praising them for eating from the food bowl or scolding them for eating Sim food, and vice versa. Pets may also beg Sims who are eating at a table for food scraps, which will promptly be tossed down to the animal.
Later expansion packs such as Holiday Party Pack, Open for Business and Seasons added more foods for Sims to cook. Bon Voyage adds special foods that can only be eaten on vacation. With FreeTime, Sims who have sufficient enthusiasm in the Cuisine hobby can get chips & dip, cheese, and appetizer platters from the fridge. These platters are treated as group meals, though they do not have the "Call to Meal..." option that other group meals do. Since they require no preparation, they do not depend on the Sim's Cooking skill.
A list of in-game food can be found here.
The Sims Castaway Stories
Food in Castaway Stories has changed, mainly because it has to be collected. Food can be collected much as resources can. Here are the ways:
- Collecting fruit from trees (coconuts, papayas, bananas),
- Fishing (bigger fish bring more food),
- Going to work (this also brings resources).
The Sims 3
In The Sims 3, refrigerators provide the Sims with the choices of quick meals and meals for food. Quick meals in the fridge are free of charge, but for the most part - require no preparation. Whilst they are filling as main meals, they don't give a Sim any mood benefit, such as the Good Meal moodlet. Main meals, which use up or charge the Sim for the needed ingredients, require a countertop to be prepared on, then cooked on a stove or microwaved. These meals, as well ingredients, can be stored and later retrieved from the refrigerator to prolong expiration. And unlike in previous game, leftovers will eventually still spoil in the fridge and Sim's inventory if left there for too long.
Food can also be obtained by stocking a buffet table with three dishes for a price. Unlike in previous games, fruit and vegetables can be consumed entirely in their raw form. Sims taking a visit to a Bistro can Eat Outside to order a random dish of their choice. In World Adventures, Sims can purchase dried food in foreign locations, which will never spoil and can be eaten on the go. Food trucks can provide Sims with greasy street food in Bridgeport. Many community lots contain professional bars, food stands and barista bars, that sell food, though these are usually of low quality. Resorts comes with a special buffet table, which can be set up of different type of variety and cost for quality.
|Bread and Jam||Requires Fridge|
|Canned Soup||Requires Fridge|
|Ice Cream||Requires Fridge|
|Green Salad||Requires Fridge|
|Cold One||Requires Mini Fridge|
|Curry Wurst||Requires Microwave|
|Breakfast Burrito||Requires Microwave|
Breakfast and Brunch Recipes
|Peanut Butter and Jelly||Any Fruit||Normal||1||Cold Cooked|
|Fruit Parfait||Apple and Grapes||Nice||4[n 4]||Cold Cooked|
|Eggs Machiavellian||Watermelon, Egg||Very Nice||7[n 4]|
|French Toast||Two Apples and an Egg||Great||9|
|Ambrosia||Death Fish and Life Fruit||Perfect||Recipe Book (Level 10)||Always perfect, can be cooked at any time in single serving. See Ambrosia|
|Autumn Salad||Lettuce||Normal||0||Cold Cooked, for Brunch, Lunch and Dinner|
|Grilled Cheese||Cheese||Normal||0||Lunch only|
|Hot Dogs||Links||Normal||0||Grilled in Group Portions|
|Mac and Cheese||Cheese||Normal||0||Lunch and Dinner|
|Ratatouille||Tomato||Normal||1[n 4]||Lunch and Dinner|
|Chili Con Carne||Steak, Ghost Chili||Normal||1[n 4]||Lunch and Dinner|
|Vegetarian Chili||Tofu, Ghost Chili||Normal||1[n 4]||Lunch and Dinner|
|Goopy Carbonara||Onion||Normal||2||Lunch and Dinner|
|Hot and Sour Soup||Ghost Chili, Porcinis||3[n 4]||Brunch, Lunch and Dinner|
|Cheesesteak||Cheese and Steak||Nice||5[n 4]||Can be Grilled for Lunch and Dinner|
|Firecracker Shrimp||Honey, Ghost Chili||5[n 4]||Brunch, Lunch and Dinner|
|Firecracker Tofu||Honey, Ghost Chili||5[n 4]||Brunch, Lunch and Dinner|
|Hamburger||Onion, Patty||Very Nice||6||Can be Grilled for Lunch and Dinner|
|Aloo Masala Curry||Ghost Chili, Potato, Tomato||6[n 4]||Brunch, Lunch and Dinner|
|Porcini Risotto||Onion, Porcinis||7[n 4]||Lunch and Dinner|
|Dim Sum||Three Fish||Great||9||Food for Brunch and Lunch only|
|Potato and Truffle Torte||Egg, Potato, Truffles||9[n 4]||Lunch and Dinner|
|Ceviche||Fish, Ghost Chili, Lime||10[n 4]||Lunch and Dinner|
Dinner Only Recipes
|Fish and Chips||Fish||Nice||3[n 4]||Can be Grilled|
|Stu Surprise||Two of Any Ingredients||Nice||5|
|Grilled Salmon||Garlic, Potato, Salmon||Very Nice||8||Can Be Grilled|
|Tri-Tip Steak||Potato, 1 Vegetable and Steak||Very Nice||8[n 4]||Can be Grilled|
|Stuffed Turkey||Two Vegetables and a Roast||Great||9[n 4]||Only available in group portions.|
|Lobster Thermidor||Garlic, Lobster, Bell Pepper||Great||10|
|Pumpkin Pie||Egg, Pumpkin||5|
|Cobbler||Any Fruit and 1 Egg||Very Nice||6[n 4]|
|Key Lime Pie||Lime and 1 Egg||Very Nice||7|
|Baked Angel Food Cake||Flame Fruit and 2 Eggs||Great||10[n 4]||See Baked Angel Food Cake|
World Adventures Recipes
The Sims 3: Seasons introduces food kiosks to the game and new kiosk food and drink. They cannot be made at home.
|Chili Cheese Fries|
|Pulled Pork Sandwich|
|Sweet Potato Fries|
The Sims 4
Food in The Sims 4 is now categorized by the way it is prepared, rather than by time of day it is served. Meals are further categorized by Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner. Sims are able to cook any meal at any time of the day. Sims are able to prepare grand meals if Seasons is installed. Sims can cook homestyle and gourmet meals in the kitchen, or bake pastries with the cupcake factory. If Get To Work is installed sims will be able to gain the baking skill which allows for sims to bake a wide variety of baked goods. Sims can also bake multiple tiered weddings cakes if my wedding stories is installed. Unlike The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, but in a throwback to The Sims, they don't have to buy food, but are instead charged each time they prepare a meal. If Cottage Living is installed, there is a lot challenge that requires sims to have ingredients to prepare meals. Unlike the sims 3 there is no grocery store, but sims can order groceries to be delivered. Food can also be obtained by stocking a buffet table with six dishes for a price, if luxury party stuff or my wedding stories are installed. Like in the sims 3 fruit and vegetables can be consumed entirely in their raw form. Quick meals, which are not needed to be prepared don't cost money but constantly eating them will result in a temporary debuff due to an unbalanced diet and craving for proper meals if discover university is installed. By using freshly grown ingredients, Sims can both decrease the cost of the meal prepared and affect its quality. Sims can use the phone to order food to be delivered through Zoomies Delivery Service. Sims can also use the phone to order pizza, of which they have three varieties to choose from, each costing them §25. Three additional pizza options are available if Discover University is installed, also costing §25 each.
When Sims eat, their meals can consist of both a food item and a beverage. Beverages available are milk, juice, coffee, tea, soda, orange juice, milk or anything they either mix themselves or order from a bar, food stall, or restaurant. There is a drink tray that allows sims to serve Frizzy Fruity Drink if Spa Day is installed. There is another drink trays which allow sims to serve iced tea, lemonade and citrus swig if Backyard Stuff is installed. Sims can also make tea with a tea brewer. If My Wedding Stories is installed, sims can use the tea tray to steep and serve several different types of tea. If Movie Hangout Stuff is installed sims can make four different types of popcorn in the popcorn machine. Sims can also make several different types of ice cream with the ice cream maker if Cool Kitchen Stuff is installed. Sims can brew several different types of coffee, espresso, and cappuccino with the espresso machine if Get Together is installed.
A list of in-game food recipes can be found here.
The following meals can be made without any preparation.
|Orange Juice||Quick meal||Cures illnesses.[TS4:GTW]|
|Animal Crackers||Quick meal|
|Cheese Crackers||Quick meal|
|Ham and Cheese Sandwich||Quick meal|
|Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich||Quick meal|
|Off-Brand Soda||Quick meal|
|Edamame||Quick meal||This meal costs §6 unless there are soy beans in a Sim's inventory.|
Microwave quick meals
The following meals require a microwave on the lot to make.
|Chicken Nuggets||Quick meal|
|Microwave Dinner||Quick meal|
|Microwave Pastry||Quick meal|
|Breakfast Burrito||Quick meal|
|Instant Noodles||Quick meal|
|Pizza Rolls||Quick meal|
Quick meals from the cooler
With The Sims 4: Outdoor Retreat, Sims can buy a cooler that can be used to get quick meals. The coolers do have normal quick meals, but they do also have some special ones as well.
|Canadian Bacon Pizza|
|Sweet Corn Pizza|
|Tikka Masala Pizza|
In The Sims 4: Parenthood, Sims can prepare sack lunches, that they can bring to work or school in their inventory. If they do so while their hunger need is low, they will eat the food and come back home with full hunger.
|Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich|
|Tuna Salad Sandwich|
|Veggie and Hummus Sandwich|
Modded food (Modified food) is food downloaded from sites like The Sims Resource and Mod The Sims. These sites have a dedicated "food" section, where players can download several types of food like ice cream, Chinese chicken and French bread. Earlier versions of food for The Sims 2 have had many problems which creators tried to overcome, such as food not disappearing when eaten, among other things.
Downloads for The Sims 3 can also add new recipes, make recipes more complex, and increase the price for ingredients if a Sim doesn't own them.
- While the game will take into account Sims that are not currently present on the lot, the game will take into account Sims that are otherwise unable to actually eat the food, such as toddlers, babies, and ghosts; or Sims that would not normally need to eat the food under normal circumstances, such as Servos, PlantSims, or Sims who are currently asleep. A mod at Mod The Sims corrects this.
- A mod at Mod The Sims provides this functionality.
- Cats may jump onto counters to eat food placed there.
- Learned from Recipes.
- Drinking Eggnog gives the Feeling Festive moodlet.