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Diet Of The Child

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

(Review Milk)

The results of bad feeding in early childhood show themselves in bow legs, bent spines, and teeth slow to appear or decaying early. The child whose milk teeth decay is usually suffering from malnutrition ; later in life tuberculosis, goiter, and other diseases may attack the child who has been ill fed. In infancy mother's milk is the proper food for the baby ; only a few artificially fed children are perfectly strong.

The Composition of the Food. The child needs each of the food elements. It requires protein in a greater amount, and has less power of digesting carbohydrates than the adult has. His ability to dispose of an excess of fat is also below that of the adult. The composition of human milk must be the guide for the adaptation of cow's milk to the child's use. Human milk has slightly less fat than cow's milk, more sugar, and far less protein. By diluting cow's milk with water the quantity of all these ingredients is lessened ; then by adding malt sugar a mixture that gives us the best substitute for mother's milk is made. Malt sugar is not used before the third week in the formulas quoted below. The best authorities conclude that a normal child needs in twenty-four hours the protein contained in one and one-half ounces of good milk for each pound of body weight. The fat in milk, if it is a milk with a four per cent fat content, will be sufficient for his needs. He will require slightly more carbohydrate than the sugar of the milk will furnish, so malt sugar should be added, one ounce being sufficient. Water is then added to make the required quantity.

The Caloric Requirements. (Review Daily Fuel Value Requirements) A child requires food to furnish forty-five calories of energy in twenty-four hours for each pound of body weight up to six months, then forty calories from six to nine months.

Amount of Food. The amount of food given depends on the age and the weight of the child. A young baby's stomach holds one ounce at birth ; two and one-half ounces at one month ; three and one-half ounces at two months ; four and one-half ounces at three months; and six ounces at seven months.. Some authorities give only as much food as the stomach holds; others a little more, believing that a part of the food passes out of the stomach as soon as eaten. Those who advocate the latter plan give a little more than one ounce at birth, with four-hour intervals; five ounces at a feeding at three months; seven ounces at six months and eight or nine at eight months.

If a child of six months, weighing fourteen pounds, is to receive five seven-ounce feedings in twenty-four hours, about thirty-six ounces of food will be required. Twenty-one of this is milk and one ounce malt sugar. To this add enough boiled water to make the required quantity-fourteen ounces of water will be needed ómaking in all the thirty-six ounces. As the child grows older and heavier less water is used ; hence he receives a more concentrated food.

How much milk is needed by a baby weighing twelve pounds? How much water should be added to his milk? How much can he take at a feeding if he is six months old?

Intervals Between Feedings. Even a breast-fed baby will be cross if he eats too often. Many authorities think that four hours should elapse between feedings; other authorities, three hours. A child fed every two hours is almost sure to have colic or be restless. Milk does not leave the stomach for three hours, and putting in more food will cause indigestion. Those who advocate the four-hour feeding think that the stomach should have a period of rest after it is emptied. If a child seems hungry before the next feeding give him more food at a time, but do not shorten the intervals between feeding.

Length of Time for Feeding. A child should spend about twenty minutes in taking his food; never less than ten minutes or more than twenty, whether he is breast- or bottle-fed.

The Manner of Feeding. Take the child in the arms, and hold the bottle so that no air enters the nipple. Never let a child suck from a bottle so nearly empty that the nipple is not covered with milk. Never lay the bottle on the pillow and leave the child to eat alone.

The Time of Feeding. Babies should be fed at regular times. Where four-hour feedings are used the best hours seem to be 6 and 10 A. M., and 2 and 6 P.M., and 12 midnight. After eight or nine months change the midnight feeding to 10 P. M. so that the child may have eight hours of unbroken sleep.


Utensils Needed. Proper utensils will lessen the labor in preparing modified milk. Uncracked granite or aluminum sauce-pans, double boilers, and other utensils should be used. Provide an eight-ounce glass graduated cup for measuring ; a dairy thermometer ; a dozen feeding bottles, with shoulder beginning at the neck (See figure) ; half a dozen black rubber nipples that may be turned inside out for cleaning (never use a feeding bottle with a rubber tube) ; non-absorbent cotton for stoppers; a pitcher for mixing food; a tall cup for warming bottles; glass tubing for syphon, if needed ; a bottle brush ; bicarbonate of soda, and boric acid for cleansing the utensils.

Mixing the Food. If in any doubt about the quality of the milk, Pasteurize it.Measure enough cold milk for the day; add the proper amount of malt sugar solution and cold boiled water; stir well and fill as many feeding bottles as are needed; cork with non-absorbent cotton, and put them in a very cold ice-box.

Warming the Food. When a bottle is needed remove the cotton, being sure that the hands are clean. Adjust a nipple from the boric acid solution and set the bottle in a deep cup of hot water until lukewarm. Test by pouring a few drops on the back of the hand; never put the bottle to the mouth. All milk that is left in the bottle must be thrown away. Never attempt to keep milk warm for several hours in a thermos bottle or other-wise. Bacteria increase rapidly when warm.

Washing Utensils. Rinse all utensils in cold water, then in hot. Wash in hot soapsuds, cleaning bottles with a brush. Reverse nipples to wash. Lay bottles, nipples, and glass tubing (if used) on a cloth in a kettle; cover with water and boil for five minutes; wipe the outside of the bottles and cork with sterilized cotton. Drop the nipples in a saturated solution of boric acid until ready to use. Discard nipples as soon as they show any cracks, as bacteria may get into the cracks. Scald the other utensils.

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