General Rules for Feeding Children, circa 1922 (Mrs. Fryer’s Loose Leaf Cook Book)
1. Meals should be given at regular times.
2. No “nibbling” between meals. If a child is really hungry, a slice of bread and butter will satisfy the craving for food. Never give candy at such times. It will not only spoil the normal appetite , but will encourage a bad habit. Oftentimes a glass of water, and not food, is what the little one really craves.
3. Teach the child to drink plenty of water between meals–several glasses a day.
4. Happiness while eating is essential to good digestion.
5. Do not force a child to eat. If after a day or two the appetite does not return, consult a physician
6. Teach a child to wash face and hands before eating. Explain that dirt is dangerous. Explain that flies are dangerous.
Teach a child to demand fresh air and sunshine, for they are the great cleansers of nature.
7. Children may generally be taught to like all kinds of foods that are good for them. By giving a little of a new food at first, the taste can be cultivated.
About fifty or sixty years ago, North Americans seem to have strayed away from rules like these for children, let alone adults. You will still see rules like these being applied in some European countries. But even they, too, are starting to fall little by little to The Kingdom of Snack. It is a hard thing to battle the advertising force that are the snacking, junk food, fast food industries and the food ideas promoted by tv and movies (emotional eating, food as rewards, food as escapes from boredom). But, it can be done. I remember rules I was taught by my elders for healthiness. I was always told that if I must eat between meals, I must eat something from the fruit bowl or the garden. One can of pop was all we were allowed per week when I was growing up. Too much bread or potatoes will expand your waist. Never EVER eat while grocery shopping. Can you tell me some of the food rules your elders taught you when you were young? Did they stick?