Healing Food is a common alternative to the health pack. It serves the same primary purpose as the health pack or healing potion, but it comes in the form of your favorite candy bar or a big, meaty drumstick. Some games feature food, potions and health packs as means to healing the player.
In some games you will find food in logical places like kitchen cupboards, cellars, and on tables. Other games will give you food for killing a creature (i.e. getting meat from killing a chicken or cow) or for searching around trees and fields. However, some games give no reason for the food you get, like looting milkshakes off of demons in Death Spank. There are many other ways of getting healing food in games, such as buying it from shops, earning it as a quest reward, and sometimes even cooking it yourself.
Healing Food is not to be confused with food that is needed for sustenance. Occasionally games will require characters to eat food so that they don't starve, but this does not necessarily heal them.
- Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu is the earliest known clear example. The protagonist needs to regularly eat food to slowly heal his health. If food runs out, then his hit points will begin dropping at a rapid pace and the music will get progressively out of tune until more food is found or bought, or else the protagonist eventually dies.
- Gauntlet is another strong early example, as your hit points in-game diminish over time if you don't eat food. The in-game announcer famously tells the player when he/she "needs food badly".
- Streets of Rage uses apples and chickens to recover health. The apples cure minor injuries and the chickens restore full health when eaten.
- Unreal has health packs and fruits that can be eaten. It also has a system to plant trees in order to grow these fruits.
- Return to Castle Wolfenstein uses both potions and Healing Food to provide different amounts of healing.