late 14c., pamperen, "to cram with food, indulge with food," probably from a Low German source such as Middle Dutch (compare West Flemish pamperen "cram with food, overindulge;" dialectal German pampen "to cram"), probably from a frequentative of the root of pap (n.1). Meaning "treat luxuriously, overindulge" (transitive) is attested by 1520s. Related: Pampered; pampering.
"food" for anything, "food" in its widest sense, "that which nourishes an animal or vegetable," 1670s, from Latin pabulum "fodder, food, nourishment," from PIE root *pa- "to feed" + instrumentive suffix *-dhlom. Related Pabular; pabulary; pabulous.
Pablum (1932), derived from this, is a trademark (Mead Johnson & Co.) for a soft, bland cereal used as a food for infants and weak and invalid persons, hence its figurative use (attested from 1970, first by U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew) in reference to "mushy" political prose.
"horse flesh, offal, scraps, etc., used as food for dogs," 1590s.
c. 1200, pitaunce, "pious donation to a religious house or order to provide extra food; the extra food provided," also "a small portion, scanty rations," from Old French pitance "pity, mercy, compassion; refreshment, nourishment; portion of food allowed a monk or poor person by a pious bequest," apparently literally "pity," from the source pity. Perhaps via Medieval Latin *pietantia, from an assumed verb *pietare, or otherwise derived from Latin pietas. Meaning "small amount, portion, or quantity" is attested by 1560s.