Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vintage Nutrition for Healthy Happy School Children

I have a collection of vintage homemaking and cook books and I find them immensly interesting.  Some of the information and cleaning tips/products are outdated, but then you come across a gem.
I've been perusing my 1947 "Food, Nutrition and Home Management Manual" a Home Economics Circular put out by the Province of British Columbia's Department of Education.  I picked up this book for a mere $7.00 at a used bookstore in Vancouver this past November (well worth the price!)

Here is the gem I came across:

Unit II.  Nutrition.
Rules for Healthy, Happy B.C. School Children.

1. Eat food slowly and at regular intervals.
2. Eat cooked cereal with milk for breakfast frequently.
3. Drink 3 to 4 glasses of milk daily.
4. Drink 4 to 6 glasses of water daily.
5. Drink no tea or coffee until 20 years of age.
6. Eat eggs three or four times a week, and meat not more than once a day.
7. Eat plenty of fruit.
8.  Eat raw vegatables at least twice a week.
9.  Eat daily a vegetable in addition to potatoes.
10. Eat milk desserts rather than pastry.
11.  Eat very little candy. (Only after meals.)
12. Aid the digestion of food by doing the following:-
   (1.) Exercising two hours each day.
   (2.) Bathing a least twice a week.
   (3.) Keeping windows open at night.
   (4.) Sleeping as many hours as the following table indicates: -
        Age.                       Hours of Sleep.
        5-6                                    13
        6-8                                    12
        8-10                                  11 1/2
        10-12                                11
        12-14                                10 1/2
        14-16                                10
        16-18                                  9 1/2

Wow, isn't that common sense and practical knowledge?  But I wonder how many parents/children follow these 'rules' nowadays.  Eat fruits and vegetables, not much candy, milk desserts instead of pastry - we know that, but do we adhere it it?

I especially like the 'exercising two hours each day'.  In 1947 I think this would never have been a problem for kids as they were outside playing everyday.  Now with television, computers and video games exercising (playing outside) is a huge challenge.  My own children have been much better at getting outside since we have moved to the country, but they can easily become absorbed into TV.  There are so many organized sports where kids go a few times a week, but really, how often do they go outside to play on their own or with the neighbourhood kids?  It no longer happens these days, and it is a real shame.  Some of my happiest times as a child were to play make believe or make up our own games with the local kids and we were outside for hours until our mother's called us home (called with their voices and not cell phones ha ha)

Sleep is something that I nag my kids about because they are "so tired" every morning.  I know they're not getting near enough sleep as they drag out bedtime every night.  They are old enough to know when to get to bed on their own, but still manage to stay up late.

It is pretty funny that bathing and sleeping with the window open aid in digestion.... maybe there is something I'm missing?

Anyway I thought I would post the rules as I found it so interesting.

Post shared on Homestead Barn Hop #10


Jody said...

What a great post. We have a four year old and a 2 year old. They've already learned the fine art of dragging out bedtime.

Anonymous said...

As a home economist and a dietitian, I read the Vintage Nutrition piece with great interest! Yes, very practical advice. Thinking back to my childhood years, both my grandmother and mother must have been familiar with these "rules."

Laurie said...

If more people would follow these rules today we'd be a lot better off! Thanks for sharing this bit of history.

Carpe Diem said...

HI Jody, Anon and Laurie,
I definately think we can learn something from the rules and be a lot healthier!

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