Eat and be healthy: Diet for children

What is the best diet for children? This question comes up every now and then. brings the answer.

Teach your children to eat normally of plain, wholesome, natural foods, unspoiled by high seasoning and fancy cookery; let them follow their play instincts, and watch the children’s specialist pass by on the other side.

Eat and be healthy: Diet for children

Children of different ages, sizes, and of different degrees of activity will require different amounts of food, though the quality should always be of the best, that is, the simplest and most natural.

Diet for children

For children under ten, and particularly those under five years of age, milk should always constitute a very fair proportion of the diet.

Of course, for infants not yet weaned, milk either mother’s (most preferably) or that of cows or goats, is the only food; for such youngsters it is absolutely essential.

To be sure they may and should be allowed small quantities of fruit and vegetable juices; these will prevent constipation and go far toward helping build healthy little bodies.

After weaning, however, milk should constitute a good share of the diet, especially until the fifth or sixth year, or longer, gradually supplemented, of course, by an increasingly large allowance of succulent foods and sweet fruits, as well as some potato and grain foods—whole grain products, not devitalized white flour products.

From this time on a child’s diet should be confined to milk and its products, succulent foods, potatoes, whole grain foods, sweet fruits in abundance, eggs, legumes in moderation, and nuts.

Regarding the use of nuts by children it may be here remarked that parents often complain that though their children are very fond of nuts, they cause digestive disturbances.

The same is true of grownups when they eat nuts as children are usually allowed to eat them. That is, to eat too many in the first place and to chew them too little in the second place.

In eating nuts as in eating many other foods, a good motto for either adults or children is: “Eat less and eat it more.”

Remember that nuts are a very rich food and not to be eaten as freely as apples or other foods of low fuel value.

Once more, then, to avoid digestive disturbances in either yourself or your children following the use of nuts in the dietary, eat them in small quantities and chew them very thoroughly.

It requires closer attention to chew nuts thoroughly than is required in the case of almost any other food. But it can be done.

And if it is done, they are one of the most valuable of all man’s foods. Furthermore, if children are taught to chew properly from the time they first start to take nourishment other than that from the breast or bottle, they will have no more trouble with nuts than with any other food.

Feed children hard foods

Give children absolutely no soft foods from the time they begin to eat foods other than milk, and the problem of correct chewing, as well as the problem of proper formation of teeth and jaws and the problem of adenoids, will solve itself.

Feed hard foods that the youngster must chew, even if he has no teeth and has to “gum it;” particularly should all the starchy food that a baby gets be hard.

Liquid starchy foods, mushes, and pappy foods in general are responsible for a host of children’s diseases. Feed hard foods. Those growing jaws and developing teeth need the exercise to make them grow and develop properly.

Children are much better off if they get their protein from milk and its products, eggs, and nuts than if they are allowed meats.

Likewise, children’s sweets must be in the form of sweet fruits and not as candies. Never let a child have soda fountain concoctions; they are bad enough for grown-ups to ruin their stomachs and poison their systems with. But to let children have them is a crime.

Therefore, if you don’t want your child to reproach you in after years with the crime of ruining his digestion, as well as causing him to have numerous “children’s diseases” and unnecessary operations for tonsils and adenoids, don’t feed him meats and candies and cakes and pies, as soon as he is weaned.

He will still have plenty of time to learn these with other vices when he reaches the “age of discretion.” There is little to choose between habitual candy eating or soda water drinking and cigarette smoking so far as they effect the health; if there is, I am sure the choice lies with the cigarette smoking.

Also, I have yet to see a single instance of adenoids or tonsil trouble that was not caused by either or all of the following: Excessive eating of sugar and candies and drinking of soda waters; excessive meat eating; excessive consumption of grain products; and the mixing of starches and acids or sub-acids at one and the same meal.

This might be said with almost equal force of practically every so-called “children disease,” high-priced children’s specialists to the contrary notwithstanding.


About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *