Why ’19 Kids and Counting’ Fans Believe the Duggar Kids Actually Did All of the Cooking

We’ve watched the Duggars grow up on our TV screens, and even today we love catching up with the gigantic family on Counting On. Back on their 19 Kids and Counting days, we learned a ton about how all 21 Duggars operate their household, and fans grew fascinated with their family rules, mealtime plans, and dating rituals. While many of the older kids are moved out of the family home and married off, we still can’t imagine what living with over 20 people in one household would ever be like.

Michelle Duggar, the mother of 19, was always candid with how she managed all of the daily activities in the house, and this included meal prep. While it seemed like she always must have been preparing for the next meal, some fans are starting to think she never actually made any of the food at all. Here’s why.

Michelle Duggar described how all of her children helped out in the kitchen for meals

The Duggar family
The Duggar family | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Back in 2013, Michelle wrote a blog post for TLC describing how organization was key in her gigantic family — and she also explained exactly how meals worked. While many may have pictured the mother of 19 slaving away in the kitchen so her whole family could eat, that’s definitely not the case. As she described, every meal was planned up to two weeks at a time, and whoever was cooking that week was the one who got to choose what the family was eating. “All of the kids take turns in the kitchen. I always let each one of them take a turn at learning how to prepare a meal,” she wrote.

Michelle also added that it wasn’t just the Duggar ladies who were in the kitchen, either. “Some of the boys are really good cooks. They have lots of fun getting in there and being creative,” she wrote. And she also added that even the youngest members of the family found ways to help out. “We usually have teams of three or four kids that’ll work together on the cooking. … There’s a leader and then the rest of them follow the instructions of the leader.”

It’s smart to have as much help as she can get in the kitchen, but In Touch Weekly notes fans have also noticed that we rarely see Michelle cooking even on TV. It seems the kids aren’t just helping in the kitchen, but they’re doing the brunt of the work.

She’s definitely the one who did the grocery shopping, however

Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar
Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar | Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

Perhaps Michelle’s in the kitchen more than we see — or perhaps she lets the kids take the reigns on every meal. Either way, it seems she does have the lead on what gets purchased at the grocery store, and that’s because she has a strict budget she likes to keep to. “Our goal for our monthly food budget is $3,000. It used to be more like $2,000, but we’ve noticed the costs of groceries have gone up,” Michelle mentioned on the TLC blog. And she also mentioned how she gets groceries for so many family members without visiting the store every day. “For groceries, we mainly shop at discount grocery stores, warehouse clubs and co-ops. You can save thousands of dollars by doing just that. We buy mostly in bulk and stock up once a month on staples like butter, cereal and oats–it’s just cheaper,” she wrote.

As for exactly what the Duggars eat, it seems like they stick primarily to the basics. Daily Mail Online notes each day, the family was going through 36 eggs, five pounds of turkey bacon, six loaves of bread, a gallon of ice cream, and multiple pounds of potatoes. It’s no wonder Michelle needed all the help in meal preparation.

Her older kids are still cooking and eating the same family favorites today

It seems the older Duggar children are still sticking to their roots, as the meals they prepared as kids are seemingly still the same ones they’re eating today. Jill Duggar is particularly infamous for her cooking, as she shares all of her favorite family recipes on her blog. Unfortunately, fans are calling her out for how gross they sound. On Jill’s Instagram post promoting her recipe for “Pops’ BBQ Tuna Fish,” fans certainly didn’t hold back on their opinions. “That’s straight Prison Food!” one of her followers said.

Jill still has the support of her fans, however — and if these are the recipes she grew up eating, it makes perfect sense as to why she would want to bring them to her own family’s dinner table. Either way, it looks like she’s doing just as much cooking now as she was during her younger years under Michelle and Jim Bob’s roof.

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