The Scientific Aspect Of Menu Planning
( Originally Published 1936 )
The planning of menus to meet the various body requirements as discussed in Chapters I, II and III comprise the scientific part of menu planning.
Proteins. The chief foods which supply protein are milk, cheese, eggs, meat, fish, fowl, and nuts. We believe that a quart of milk should be included daily for every child, and at least a pint for every adult. This may be used in many ways as a beverage, in soups, on the breakfast cereals, in desserts, and in creamed dishes. Cheese is a concentrated milk product, containing approximately the same amount of protein as meat. It may be used in various ways as the entree for luncheon or supper. Custom has made the egg a common food for break-fast, but it may be included at any meal when protein in some other form has been used for breakfast. One should have at least three or four eggs each week. Meat, fish, and fowl' may be considered in one class and an average serving should be included once daily except in special conditions. To meet the protein requirement for the average adult, we recommend a pint of milk, an egg, and a serving of meat, fish, or fowl. For the child, a quart of milk, an egg, and meat according to age should be provided. Where meat is not used, a quart of milk, an egg, and a serving of cheese or nuts is recommended in the adult diet. The protein foods should be distributed among the three meals.
Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are supplied mainly in fruits, vegetables, cereals, breads, sweet desserts, concentrated sweets, and starches. Because of the other food elements that they supply, fruits and vegetables should play a prominent part in meeting the carbohydrate requirement. It is a good rule to include fruit in each meal, and to use vegetables twice daily. Fruit may be served as breakfast fruit, in salads, fruit cups or for dessert. The vegetable allowance should include some leafy vegetables. The potato is the best starchy vegetable and should be used at least once a day. Fruits and vegetables need to be supplemented with a moderate amount of bread and cereals, the whole grain products being prefer-able. In view of the high requirement for carbohydrates, a small amount of concentrated sweets may be used. A sweet dessert once a day with a small amount of sugar, jelly, jam, or candy will usually complete the carbohydrate requirement.
Fats. Cream, butter, salad oils, lard, and lard substitutes are the common foods that supply most of the fats. It should be remembered, however, that milk, eggs, and meat supply a certain amount, and that cheese, nuts, olives, and avocados are rich sources. Every person, particularly a child, should have a certain amount of butter fat obtained from whole milk, cream, or butter. Butter substitutes supply the same amount of fat, but are lacking in vitamins A and D.
The menus should be carefully checked to see that the meals are not too rich in fats. Vegetables should be seasoned with less butter, less fat should be used in sauces, and other forms of cooking. A fat meat should be accompanied by a light salad and possibly a fruit dessert. More discrimination should be used in the choice of salad dressings. The common practice of serving the salad with a rich fat dressing before the main course, is wrong because of the satiety value of the fat. Avo
cado cocktail or a rich cream soup likewise will depress the appetite. Care should be exercised in the moderate use of fats and in their distribution.
Minerals. The inclusion of a quart of milk for each child and a pint of milk for each adult will go far to ensure an ample amount of calcium and phosphorus. A serving of cheese in some form will increase the supply of these elements. The egg, meat, cereals, and bread will furnish additional phosphorus. Iron will be supplied by the egg, meat, potato, and the green vegetables. Liver is a rich source of iron. If iodine is not supplied in the water, attention should be given to include foods that contain it. Sea foods, vegetables, and fruits grown in districts where the soil is rich in iodine will supply some. Bottled well water that passes through soil rich in iodine, and iodized salt may be used.
We feel that a generous amount of the foods that supply the alkaline minerals should be included with a moderate use of those supplying the acid minerals. This can be accomplished by including fruits and vegetables in liberal portions; while meat, fish, fowl, eggs, bread, and cereals are used only in moderate amounts. Such. foods as oranges, lemons, grape-fruit, apples, cantaloupe, bananas, potatoes, and beans are highly efficacious as alkalinizers.
Vitamins. Foods rich in the various vitamins must be freely provided. Milk, eggs, whole grain cereals and breads, vegetables, and fruits as already advised, ensure a liberal amount of vitamins. Some raw fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes and lettuce should be included daily to sup-ply vitamin C.
Water. Meeting the fluid requirement is more or less up to the individual, but a moderate amount of fluid with each meal in addition to that in the food will not only help to meet the total requirement, but further the digestion of the meals. Fluids may be included in the menus in the form of soups, sauces, beverages, and plain water.
Cellulose. If the carbohydrates have been properly provided the cellulose requirement will have been met. Fruits, vegetables, and the whole grain cereals and breads supply most of the cellulose. The use of fruit in each meal, the inclusion of vegetables in both the noon and evening meals, and the frequent use of whole grain cereals and breads will ensure sufficient cellulose or fiber, and a good distribution of these bulky foods.