Correct Proportions of Food

Age, sex, occupation, climate, and season must determine the diet of a person in normal condition.

Liquid food (milk or milk in preparation with the various prepared foods on the market) should constitute the diet of a child for the first eighteen months. After the teeth appear, by which time ferments have been developed for the digestion of starchy foods, entire wheat bread, baked potatoes, cereals, meat broths, and occasionally boiled eggs may be given. If mothers would use Dr. Johnson’s Educators in place of the various sweet crackers, children would be as well pleased and better nourished; with a glass of milk they form a supper suited to the needs of little ones, and experience has shown children seldom tire of them. The diet should be gradually increased by the addition of cooked fruits, vegetables, and simple desserts; the third or fourth year fish and meat may be introduced, if given sparingly. Always avoid salted meats, coarse vegetables (beets, carrots, and turnips), cheese, fried food, pastry, rich desserts, confections, condiments, tea, coffee, and iced water. For school children the diet should be varied and abundant, constantly bearing in mind that this is a period of great mental and physical growth. Where children have broken down, supposedly from over-work, the cause has often been traced to impoverished diet. It must not be forgotten that digestive processes go on so rapidly that the stomach is soon emptied. Thanks to the institutor of the school luncheon-counter!

The daily average ration of an adult requires
  • 3½ oz. proteid.
  • 3 oz. fat.
  • 10 oz. starch.
  • 1 oz. salt.
  • 5 pints water.

About one-third of the water is taken in our food, the remainder as a beverage. To keep in health and do the best mental and physical work, authorities agree that a mixed diet is suited for temperate climates, although sound arguments appear from the vegetarian. Women, even though they do the same amount of work as men, as a rule require less food. Brain workers should take their proteid in a form easily digested. In consideration of this fact, fish and eggs form desirable substitutes for meat. The working man needs quantity as well as quality, that the stomach may have something to act upon. Corned beef, cabbage, brown-bread, and pastry will not overtax his digestion. In old age the digestive organs lessen in activity, and diet should be almost as simple as that of a child, increasing the amount of carbohydrates and decreasing the amount of proteids and fat.

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