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Woman's Institute Library of Cookery Volume 5: Fruit and Fruit Desserts; Canning and Drying; Jelly Making, Preserving and Pickling; Confections; Beverages; the Planning of Meals online

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value is not enough. This food material must be given in forms that can
be properly digested and assimilated and it must be in the right
proportion for the person's needs. The aim should therefore be to
provide a _balanced diet_, by which is meant one that includes the
correct proportion of the various food substances to supply the needs of
the individual.

36. QUANTITY OF FOOD IN CALORIES. - Without doubt, the most intelligent
way in which to feed people is to compute the number of calories
required daily. As will be remembered, the calorie is the unit employed
to measure the amount of work that the food does in the body, either as
a tissue builder or a producer of energy. The composition and food value
of practically all foods are fairly well known, and with this
information it is a simple matter to tell fairly accurately the amount
of food that each person requires.

As has been stated, the number of calories per day required by a person
varies with the age, size, sex, and occupation of the person, as well as
with the climate in which he lives. For the adult, this will vary from
1,800 to 3,000, except in cases of extremely hard labor, when it may be
necessary to have as high as 4,500 calories. The average number of
calories for the adult, without taking into consideration the particular
conditions under which he lives or works, is about 2,500. Still a small
woman who is inactive might be sufficiently fed by taking 1,800 calories
a day, whereas a large man doing heavy, muscular work might require
3,500 to 4,000 daily.

37. IMPORTANCE OF PROPER AMOUNT OF FOOD. - Most authorities agree that it
is advisable for adults and children well past the age of infancy to
take all the food required in three meals. The taking of two meals a day
is sometimes advocated, but the possibility of securing in two meals the
same quantity of food that would ordinarily be taken in three is rather
doubtful, since it is assumed that large amounts of food are not so
easily disposed of as are smaller ones.

On the other hand, to overeat is always a disadvantage in more respects
than one. Taking food that is not required not only is an extravagance
in the matter of food, but overtaxes the digestive organs. In addition,
it supplies the body with material that must be disposed of, so that
extra work on the part of certain organs is required for this activity.
Finally, overeating results in the development of excessive fatty
tissue, which not only makes the body ponderous and inactive, but also
deadens the quickness of the mind and often predisposes a person to
disease or, in extreme cases, is the actual cause of illness.

38. EFFECT OF WEIGHT ON DIET. - An idea of the way in which the weight of
a person affects the amount of food required can be obtained by a study
of Tables III and IV. As will be observed, Table III gives the number
of calories per pound of body weight required each day by adults engaged
in the various normal activities that might be carried on within 24 hours.
It deals only with activity, the various factors that might alter the
amounts given being taken up later. The figures given are for adults
and the factors mentioned are those which affect the intake of food
to the greatest extent.

The lowest food requirement during the entire 24 hours is during the
time of sleep, when there is no activity and food is required for only
the bodily functions that go on during sleep. Sitting requires more food
than sleeping, standing, a still greater amount, and walking, still
more, because of the increase in energy needed for these activities.

In a rough way, the various occupations for both men and women are
classified under three different heads: Light Work, Moderate Work, and
Heavy Work. It is necessary that these be understood in examining
this table.


Occupation Calories
Sleeping............................... 12
Sitting................................ 14
Standing............................... 17
Walking................................ 20
Light work............................. 22
Moderate work.......................... 24
Heavy work............................. 27

Those considered as doing light work are persons who sit or stand at
their employment without any great degree of activity. They include
stenographers, dressmakers, milliners, teachers, clerks, shoemakers,
tailors, machine operators, elevator operators, and conductors.

Moderate work involves a little more activity than light work, but not
so much as heavy work. Professional cooks, professional housekeepers,
housekeepers in their own homes, professional chambermaids, waitresses,
masons, drivers, chauffeurs, plumbers, electricians, and machinists come
under this class.

Persons doing heavy work are the most active of all. They include
farmers, laundresses, excavators, lumbermen, miners, metal workers, and
soldiers on forced march.

39. To show the variation in the amount of food required according to
body weight, Table IV is given. The scale here presented has been worked
out for two persons who are normal and whose weight is correct, but
different, one weighing 130 pounds and the other 180 pounds. It is
assumed, however, that they are occupied in 24 hours with activities
that are identical, each one sleeping 8 hours, working at moderate labor
for 8 hours, walking 2 hours, standing 2 hours, and sitting 4 hours.



Number of Calories for 130 Pounds
8 hours, sleeping ....... 520
4 hours, sitting ........ 303
2 hours, standing ....... 184
2 hours, walking ........ 216
8 hours, moderate work 1,040
- - - -
24 2,263

Number of Calories for 180 Pounds
8 hours, sleeping ....... 720
4 hours, sitting ........ 430
2 hours, walking ........ 300
2 hours, standing ....... 238
8 hours, moderate work 1,440
- - - -
24 3,128

To find the total number of calories required for these activities, the
weight, in pounds, is multiplied by the calories per pound for 24 hours
for a certain activity. Thus, as in Table IV, if a person weighing 130
pounds sleeps for 24 hours, the number of pounds of weight, or 130,
would be multiplied by 12, which is the number of calories required per
pound in 24 hours for sleeping. However, since only 8 hours is occupied
by sleep and 8 is 1/3 of 24, the required number of calories would be
only 1/3 of this number. In this way each item is worked out in the
table, as is clearly shown by the following figures:

For sleeping .............. 130 X 12 X 1/3 = 520
For sitting ............... 130 X 14 X 1/6 = 303
For standing .............. 130 X 17 X 1/12 = 184
For walking ............... 130 X 20 X 1/12 = 216
For moderate work ......... 130 X 24 X 1/3 = 1,040
Total, as in Table IV ..................... 2,263

40. In this connection, it may be interesting to know the ideal weight
for persons of a given height. Table V shows the various heights for
both men and women, in inches, and then gives, in pounds, the correct
weight for each height. When, from this table, a person determines how
far he is above or below the ideal weight, he can tell whether he should
increase or decrease the number of calories he takes a day. For persons
who are under weight, the calories should be increased over the number
given in Table III for the normal individual if the ideal weight would
be attained. On the other hand, persons who are overweight should
decrease the number of calories until there is sufficient loss of weight
to reach the ideal. Of course, an adjustment of this kind should be
gradual, unless the case is so extreme as to require stringent measures.
In most cases, a slight decrease or increase in the quantity of food
taken each day will bring about the desired increase or decrease
in weight.



Men | Women
- - - - - - - - -+ - - - - - - - - -
Height | Weight | Height | Weight
Inches | Pounds | Inches | Pounds
- - - - + - - - - + - - - - + - - - -
61 | 131 | 59 | 119
62 | 133 | 60 | 122
63 | 136 | 61 | 124
64 | 140 | 62 | 127
65 | 143 | 63 | 131
66 | 147 | 64 | 134
67 | 152 | 65 | 139
68 | 157 | 66 | 143
69 | 162 | 67 | 147
70 | 167 | 68 | 151
71 | 173 | 69 | 155
72 | 179 | 70 | 159
73 | 185 | |
74 | 192 | |
75 | 200 | |

41. EFFECT OF SEX ON DIET. - The difference in sex does not affect the
diet to any great extent. Authorities claim that persons of opposite sex
but of the same weight and engaged in the same work require equal
quantities of food. But, in most cases, the work of women is lighter
than that of men, and even when this is not the case women seem to
require less food, probably because of a difference in temperament. That
taken by women is usually computed to be about four-fifths of the amount
necessary for a man. The proportion of food substances does not differ,
however, and when individual peculiarities are taken into consideration,
no definite rules can be made concerning it.

In the case of boys and girls up to the age of young manhood and
womanhood, the same amount of food is required, except for the
difference in activity, boys usually being more active than girls.

42. EFFECT OF CLIMATE ON DIET. - The climate in which a person lives has
much to do with the kind of diet he requires. In the extreme North, the
lack of vegetation makes it necessary for the inhabitants to live almost
entirely upon animal food except during the very short warm season.
Consequently, their diet consists largely of protein and fat. Under some
circumstances, a diet of this kind would be very unfavorable, but it
seems to be correct for the people who live in these regions, for
generations of them have accustomed themselves to it and they have
suffered no hardship by doing so. It is true, however, that races of
people who do not live on a well-balanced diet are not physically such
fine specimens as the majority of persons found in countries where it is
possible to obtain a diet that includes a sufficient supply of all the
food substances.

43. In hot countries, the diet consists much more largely of vegetables
than any other class of foods. This means that it is very high in
carbohydrate and comparatively low in protein and fat. As can well be
understood, a diet of this kind is much more ideal for a warm climate
than a diet composed to a great extent of animal foods.

44. In temperate zones, the diet for both summer and winter seasons
varies according to the appetite of the inhabitants themselves. Usually
a light diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, cereals, and a small
amount of meat is found the most desirable for summer weather, while a
similar one with a larger proportion of meat is the usual winter diet.
On the whole, the desire for food, which, to a certain extent, is
regulated by the climate, can be trusted to vary the diet fairly well
for the existing conditions.

45. EFFECT OF AGE ON DIET. - The proper diet for infancy and childhood is
a matter that must be discussed by itself, for it has practically no
connection with other diet. It is also well understood that up to
maturity there is a difference in the diet because of a difference in
the needs of the body. However, from maturity up to 60 years of age, the
diet is altered by the conditions already mentioned, namely weight,
size, sex, climate, and work or exercise. At the age of 60, the amount
of food required begins to decrease, for as a person grows older, the
body and all of its organs become less active. Then, too, there is a
reduced amount of physical exercise, which correspondingly reduces the
necessity for food. At this time, an oversupply of food merely serves to
overwork the organs, which being scarcely able to handle the normal
quantity of food certainly keep in better condition if the amount of
work they are called upon to do is decreased rather than increased.

It has been estimated that persons 60 years of age require 10 per cent.
less food than they formerly did; those 70 years old, 20 per cent. less;
and those 80 years old, 30 per cent. less. Usually the appetite
regulates this decrease in food, for the less active a person is, the
less likely is the appetite to be stimulated. However, the fact that
there is also a great difference in persons must not be lost sight of.
Some men and women at 70 years of age are as young and just as active as
others at 50 years. For such persons, the decrease in quantity of food
should not begin so soon, nor should it be so great as that given for
the more usual cases.

46. As there is a decrease in quantity with advancing years, so should
there be a difference in the quality of the food taken. That which is
easily digested and assimilated is preferable to food that is rich or
highly concentrated. Usually, it is necessary to increase the laxative
food in the diet at this time of life, but this matter is one of the
abnormalities of diet and therefore belongs properly to medical
dietetics rather than to a lesson on normal diet.


47. From birth until a child has attained full growth, the food
requirement is high in proportion to the size of the child. This is due
to the fact that energy must be supplied for a great deal of activity,
and at the same time new tissue must be manufactured from the food
taken. It should be remembered, too, that all body processes during
growth are extremely rapid. At birth, the average child weighs about 7
pounds, and for several days after birth there is a normal loss of
weight. In a few days, however, if the diet is correct, the child begins
to increase in weight and should gain about 1/2 pound a week until it is
3 months old. From this time on, its weekly gain should be slightly
less, but it should be constant. If the weight remains the same or there
is a decrease for a number of consecutive days or weeks, it is certain
that the diet is incorrect, that the quantity of food is insufficient,
or that the child is ill. The reason for the loss should be determined
at once and the trouble then corrected.

Normal diet for the infant is the mother's milk, but if this cannot be
supplied, the next best diet is modified cow's milk, which for the young
child must be greatly diluted. If it is found necessary to give
proprietary, or manufactured, foods, raw food of some kind should be
used in addition, the best way to supply this being with a little orange
juice or other fruit juice. At the age of 3 months, this may be given in
small quantity if it is diluted, and then the amount may be gradually
increased as the child grows older.

48. EFFECT OF WEIGHT ON CHILDREN'S DIET. - The food requirement in the
case of children is determined by weight. To decide on the proper
amount, it is necessary to know the normal weight at certain ages. At
birth, as has been stated, the normal weight is 7 pounds; at 6 months,
15 pounds; at 1 year, 21 pounds; at 2 years, 30 pounds. The food
requirement for 24 hours per pound of weight is as follows:

Children up to 1 year.......................... 45
Children from 1 to 2 years..................... 40
Children from 2 to 5 years..................... 36

From a study of these figures, it will be noted that there is a gradual
decrease in the required number of calories per pound as the child
grows older. The decrease continues until maturity is reached, and then
the scale for adults applies.

49. EFFECT OF AGE ON CHILDREN'S DIET. - A child should not be kept
exclusively on milk for more than 6 or 8 months, and then only in case
it is fed on the mother's milk. Fruit juice, which has already been
mentioned as an additional food, is recommended if the diet requires raw
food or if it is necessary to make the child's food more laxative. When
the child reaches the age of 6 months, it should be taught to take foods
from a spoon or a cup; then when it must be weaned, the task of weaning
will be much easier. At the age of 8 or 9 months, depending on the
condition of the child, small amounts of well-cooked, strained cereals
may be added to the diet, and these may gradually be decreased as the
food is increased in variety. Up to 1-1/2 years of age, a child should
have 8 ounces of milk three times a day, which amounts to 1-1/2 pints.
At this age, half of a soft-cooked egg or a spoonful or two of tender
meat chopped very fine, may be given, and for each such addition 4
ounces of milk should be taken out of the day's feeding. But from 1-1/2
years up to 5 years, at least 1 pint of milk a day should be included
in the diet.

At a little past 1 year of age, a normal child may begin taking a few
well-cooked vegetables, such as a bit of baked potato, a spoonful of
spinach, carrot, celery, green peas, or other vegetables that have been
forced through a sieve or chopped very fine. At 1-1/2 years, the normal
child should be taking each day one vegetable, a cereal, buttered bread
or toast softened with milk, eggs, fruit juice, a little jelly, and
plain custards. However, each of these foods should be added to the diet
with caution and in small amounts, and if it appears to disagree with
the child in any way, it should be discontinued until such time as it
can be tolerated.

In case a child is being raised on a formula of cow's milk and it is a
strong, normal child, it should be taking whole milk at the age of 8 or
10 months. If the child is not strong, the milk may still be diluted
with a small amount of sterile water, but this should be gradually
decreased until the child is able to tolerate whole milk.

50. FEEDING SCALE FOR INFANTS. - It is, of course, a difficult matter to
make definite rules for the feeding of all children, for conditions
arise with many children that call for special plans. However, for
children that are normal, a feeding scale may be followed quite closely,
and so the one given in Table VI is suggested.



First Three Months


Fourth Month

Same as for preceding months and orange juice and cereal waters.

Sixth Month

Same as for preceding months and well-cooked and strained cereal.

Eighth Month

Same as for preceding months and beef juice, beef broth, and yolk of
soft-cooked egg.

Tenth Month

Same as for preceding months and unstrained cereal, half of
soft-cooked egg, both white and yolk, chopped or strained cooked
vegetables, such as spinach and other greens, asparagus, carrots,
celery, and squash, stale bread, crackers, toast and butter.

Eleventh Month

Same as for preceding months and well-cooked rice, baked potato,
jelly, plain custard, corn-starch custard, and junket.

Twelfth Month

Same as for preceding months and whole egg, a tablespoonful of
tender meat, string beans, peas, turnips, onions, chopped or
strained applesauce, stewed prunes, and other fruits.

Eighteenth Month

Same as for preceding months and home-made ice cream, plain sponge
cake, milk soups, and cereal puddings.

This scale is to be used by adding to the diet for one month the foods
suggested for the next month, giving them at the time the child reaches
the age for which they are mentioned. For instance, a child of 8 months
may have everything included in the first three, four, and six months
and, in addition, beef juice, beef broth, and the yolk of a soft-cooked
egg, which is the diet suggested for the eighth month. Then at the tenth
month it may have all of these things together with those given for
this month.

51. When any of these foods is first added to the diet, much care is
necessary. Each new food should be given cautiously, a teaspoonful or
two at a time being sufficient at first, and its effect should be
carefully observed before more is given. If it is found to disagree, it
should not be repeated. If at any time a child is subject to an attack
of indigestion, its diet should be reduced to simple foods and when it
has recovered, new foods should be added slowly again. In the case of
any of the ordinary illnesses to which children are subject, such as
colds, etc., the diet should be restricted to very simple food, and
preferably to liquids, until the illness has passed. The diet of a baby
still being fed on milk should be reduced to barley water or a very
little skim milk diluted with a large amount of sterile water. When the
illness is over, the child may be gradually brought back to its
normal diet.


52. One of the difficulties of every housewife having a family composed
of persons of widely different tastes and ages is the preparation of
meals that will contain sufficient food of the correct kind for all of
them. Children up to 6 years of age usually require something especially
prepared for their meals, except breakfast, but, as a rule, the
selection of the diet for children from 6 years up to 15 or 16 years of
age is merely a matter of taking from the meal prepared for the
remainder of the family the right amount of the various foods. Tea and
coffee should not be included in the diet of growing children, and
should under no circumstances be given to small children. If the proper
method is followed in this matter, no difficulty will result, but where
children expect to eat the food served to the others at the table and
are not content with what is given to them, it is better not to feed
them at the same table with the adults.

53. The most satisfactory way in which to arrange meals that are to be
served to persons of different ages is to include several foods that may
be fed to all members of the family and then to select certain others
proper only for adults and still others suitable for the children. A
sample of such a menu for supper is the one here given. It is assumed
that the children that are to eat this meal are not infants.


Rice Croquettes with Cheese Sauce
Lettuce Salad
Bread, Butter, Jelly
Baked Apples
Plain Cookies


Steamed Rice
Bread, Butter, Jelly
Baked Apples
Plain Cookies

A menu of this kind is not difficult to prepare, and still it meets the
needs of both the children and the adults of the family. The main dish
for each has the same foundation - rice. Enough to serve the entire
family may be steamed. Then some may be retained for the children and
the rest made up into croquettes and served with cheese sauce to the
adults. The remainder of the menu, bread, butter, jelly, baked apples,
and plain cookies, may be eaten by every one. Tea will probably be
preferred by the adults, but milk should be served to the children.
Other suitable menus may be planned without any extra trouble if just a
little thought is given to the matter.


54. The proportion of food substances necessary for building and
repairing the body and for providing it with material necessary for its
various functions is a matter to which much discussion has been given.
Formerly, it was not understood that the protein should be limited to
exactly what the body needed and that its requirements were
comparatively low regardless of conditions or exercise. The standard for
diet very often allowed as much as 25 per cent. in protein. This
percentage has been gradually reduced by the discovery of the actual
body needs, so that now it is believed by the most dependable
authorities that only about 10 per cent. of the entire day's rations for
the adult should be protein. The growing child needs a greater
proportion than this because he is building up muscle tissue. The adult
whose muscles have been entirely constructed requires protein only for
repair, and 10 per cent. of the day's food in protein is sufficient for
this. This means that if the total calories for the day are 2,500, only
250 of them need be protein.

55. The remainder of the calories are largely made up by fat and
carbohydrate. These, however, need not be in such exact proportion as
the protein, for no real danger lies in having either one in a greater
amount than the ideal proportion. This is usually three-tenths fat and

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Online LibraryWoman's Institute of Domestic Arts and SciencesWoman's Institute Library of Cookery Volume 5: Fruit and Fruit Desserts; Canning and Drying; Jelly Making, Preserving and Pickling; Confections; Beverages; the Planning of Meals → online text (page 24 of 27)