Food and Nutrition – Proper feeding during the years of growth is generally recognized as fundamental to the health of every child. The kind of food your child has today determines to a large extent the kind of man or woman that he/she will be tomorrow. It then behooves every parent to understand the principles which are involved in proper child feeding.
Let us consider first a little about food and the human body in general. Food, of course as everyone knows, give us the following things:
- Fuel for body activities – enabling us to work both mentally and physically; to play and to keep us warm. In order for our life processes to go on normally our bodies must maintain a certain temperature – the heat for this comes entirely from the food we eat.
- Food supplies material to repair the parts of us which become worn out be working and playing.
- Food supplies material for growth.
With these three great general uses of food in mind let us make a simple classification of food material.
1. Fuel Foods- these include:
(a) All fats- such as butter, cream, olive oil, fat of meats, etc. (b) All Starches and Sugars-such as bread, cake, crackers, cereals, desserts and pastries, all vegetables
and all fruits.
2. Foods for Growth and Repair – these include:
All the so called protein foods of which eggs, milk, cheese, fish, lean meat and the grain are the most important.
3. Mineral Salts –
Salts of iron, of lime, of sodium and many others. They are found pretty well distributed thru all of our food, some foods being rich in one and some in another.
Iron salts, for instance, are especially abundant in oatmeal, whole wheat flour, raisins, etc.
The salts of lime are very abundant in milk- and as it is these which aid young children chiefly in forming bone and one very good reason for the free use of milk with growing children will be seen.
Iron salts are an indispensable constituent of normal blood.
4. Vitamins –
Food substances not completely understood but which are vitally necessary to the normal growth and health of every child.
(a) Those found in fresh fruits and leafy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, lettuce.
Tomatoes are also rich in this vitamin.
(b) Those found in milk and dairy products.
(c) Those found in cereals and grains.
5. Water –
This is frequently not classed as a food because it does not give energy, nor repair waste or supply growth. It is, however, necessary in order that all the above named processes should go on.
The usual method of measuring food quantities in relation to nutrition is by the calorie. The calorie is really a certain amount of heat. In this connection one calorie represents enough heat to raise the temperature of about 1 quart of water 1 degree fahrenheit . The reason the calorie is chosen as the unit for measuring foods accurately is because all of the major classes of foods, i.e., fats, starches, sugars and proteins are transformed into heat in our bodies.
It is not necessary for the parents to puzzle unduly over total calories. After total quality of food required is settled in a general way the next important question to be determined is the proper protein requirement. Children require more protein than adults because of growth. Roughly speaking; 15% of their total daily calories should be derived from protein food. The best all-around protein food for the growing child is milk. After milk, egss, simple cheese and cereals are also preferable to meat. A very small piece of meat or fish once each day is the most required by a child.
Bread, cereals and grain products should furnish 1/3 of the child’s total food intake. Remember that the darker, coarser breads are preferred. Cooked cereals are more nourishing than the cold ones and vegetables form a very essential part of the diet. There is little danger of feeding a child too many vegetables. They are important in helping to counteract constipation. Potatoes, baked, boiled or mashed, should be given every day.
Lettuce, spinach, beet greens, carrots, cooked onions and all the dried vegetables should be generously served.
This information comes from an encyclopedia from early 1900’s. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email: PrintFromVintage@gmail.com. Thank You!