Brought forward 994.0
Chloride of sodium and potassium}
Phosphate of soda and potassa }
Phosphate of lime } 6.0
Alkaline carbonates }
Mother’s milk being nearly the same, having only a larger proportion of water, will for the first year of our baby’s life meet every demand the system can make. Even the first teeth are no sign, as ignorant mothers believe, that the stomach calls for stronger food. They are known, with reason, as milk-teeth, and the grinders delay their appearance for months afterward. A little oatmeal, bread and milk, and various porridges, come in here, that the bones may harden more rapidly; but that is all. The baby is in constant motion; and eyes and ears are taking in the mysteries of the new life, and busy hands testing properties, and little feet walking into mischief, all day. This is hardly the place to dwell upon the amount of knowledge acquired from birth to five years of age; yet when you consider how the mind is reaching in every direction, appropriating, investigating, drawing conclusions which are the foundation of all our after-knowledge, you will see that the brain is working with an intensity never afterwards equaled; and, as brain-work means actual destruction of brain-fiber, how vital it is that food should be furnished in the right ratio, and made up of the right elements!
With the coming of the grinders, and the call of the muscles and tissues for stronger food, begins the necessity for a more varied dietary. Our baby now, from two and a half to seven years of age, will require daily:—
Bread, not less than 12 ounces.
Butter 1 ounce.
Milk 1/2 pint.
Meat 2 ounces.
Vegetables 6 ounces.
Pudding or gruel 6 ounces.
This table is made from the dietaries of various children’s hospitals, where long experiment has settled the quantities and qualities necessary to health, or, as in these cases, recovery from sickness, at which time the appetite is always keener.
In many cases physicians who have studied the laws of food, and kept pace with modern experiments in dietetics, strike out meat altogether till the child is seven or eight years old, and allow it but once daily after this time, and in very limited amount. Sir Henry Thompson, one of the most distinguished of English physicians, and a man noted for his popularity as diner out and giver of dinners, writes strenuously against the prevailing excessive use of meat, and especially protests against its over use for children; and his opinion is shared by most thoughtful medical men. The nitrogenous vegetables advantageously take its place; and cheese, as prepared after the formulas given in Mattieu Williams’s “Chemistry of Cookery,” is a food the value of which we are but just beginning to appreciate.