WOMAN AND THE HOME
HELEN G. CAMPBELL
IT IS comparatively easy to plan good meals; good to the taste and dietetically right. I want to say this right at the beginning, for I have known women so bewildered in the face of scientific information on the one hand and weird half-truths on the other that they decide to give the family what the family likes best and let it go at that.
But you wäll notice that I have said “comparatively easy.” It is not so simple that you can trust merely to appetite or taste. Wise menu planning takes more than a little knowledge and much common sense. It calls for an understanding of dietary requirements and of the contributions from various foods, while, last but not least, it demands ability to make the most of the different flavors, colors and textures by careful grouping in the meal.
But, you may say, what are the dietary requirements? They differ; they are not the same for your month-old baby as they are for you. Nor for the toddler and the ’teen-age lad. Age, sex, climate, work and play, all have an effect on what and how much food we need. But we will come to that later. Let us approach this phase of the subject in a general way and learn our A.B.C.’s of good nutrition at the offset. We eat to live, to provide ourselves with materials for growth and repair of the tissues, for heat and energy and for the proper functioning of the body. Some foods serve one particular purpose, but most of them, because they contain a mixture of various substances, are used in two or more ways after being digested and absorbed. Milk, for instance, is a body builder, but it is important for several other reasons. So are many other foods down the long list available. The thing in menu planning is to give the various types of food the importance they deserve in the day’s meals.
For growth and repair—we will take that first—we must have:
Protein—the body building material—-for blood and bones, flesh and muscles. And protein is a complex sort of thing made up of several different elements in varying proportions. Some types lack one or two essentials and are called “incomplete.” “Complete” proteins are, as their name implies, of a better grade, and these are supplied by such foods as milk, eggs, meat, cheese, fish and nuts. The protein from gelatine, whole cereals, peas and beans is not so efficient but has its uses. It supplements the complete type and gives it greater value for growth purposes; which explains why cereal and milk, for example, is a better food than cereal alone. And the same applies to other combinations, as you will understand.
Minerals. There are many kinds, but the need for all will be amply taken care of, if we make sure to provide ourselves with sufficient calcium, phosphorus, iron and iodine. The first two work together to build bones and teeth. They arc found in milk, including skimmed milk and buttermilk, in cheese, eggs, whole grains and the breads made from them, in spinach and many vegetables. Of course you find them in several foods in varying amounts, but I mention the important sources here.
Iron is for blood, we know, and where do we find it? In eggs, especially the yolks, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, molasses, milk, whole grain, lean meat and liver. In other foods, of course, but these are particularly good sources.
The lack of iodine in certain districts is a serious menace to health, causing a condition known as simple goitre. Sea foods—salmon, codfish, halibut, oysters, clams and so on— offer the richest supply, while next in line are vegetables and fruits grown near the ocean.
As a rule, potassium, sulphur, magnesium and the whole
list of other food minerals are adequate in our diet if we eat plentifully of the above foods. So we do not need to consider them separately. And one thing to remember is that all these “builders” work better in combination with others; they are great on teamwork, so this is one reason for a varied diet.
There’s another reason for being generous with minerals in our daily diet.
They help to keep the blood neutral or slightly alkaline, as it should be for health.
You see in the process of “burning” or digesting certain foods, the ash that is left is acid in reaction, and unless counteracted by other foods with an alkaline ash, is detrimental to our wellbeing. So we balance them in a wise diet, using freely of milk, vegetables and fruits, most of which are alkaline-forming, to offset the acid ash of meat, fish, eggs, cereal products. Many are surprised to know that lemons, grapefruit and other fruits which taste sour are really alkaline foods. In fact, all fruits but plums, prunes and cranberries have this desirable characteristic.
Good regulators, these minerals.
Choose Your Vitamins
A day’s meal with a total of 2,265 calories, suitable for an office man, a woman doing light housework, boys of twelve or thirteen, girls a year or so older. For children, additional milk should be allowed. At least a pint, preferably more, should be included in the day's food as a drink or as an ingredient of various dishes. A glass of milk in mid-morning and at bedtime is a good between-meals refreshment. Adults should have at least half a pint daily. In these meals this is served with the cereal, in the muffins, cream sauce and ice cream. Portions should be decreased for somewhat younger children, aged persons or adults doing light work, and increased for those at heavier labor.
mid-morning and at bedtime is a good between-meals refreshment. Adults should have at least half a pint daily. In these meals this is served with the cereal, in the muffins, cream sauce and ice cream. Portions should be decreased for somewhat younger children, aged persons or adults doing light work, and increased for those at heavier labor.
VITAMINS. Now we come to vital elements which are not fully understood but are tremendously important in many ways.
Foods which contain them are called “protective,” for without them g(*>d health is impossible. So far we know the source and the functions of several vitamins, and it is simplest here to take them one by one.
Vitamin A. This promotes growth and development, and increases our resistance to disease. Insufficient amounts in the diet result in loss of appetite, digestive disturbances, retarded growth and susceptibility to infection. And. in time, a very serious condition of the eyes is brought about by lack of this element. The foods which offer a good supply are butter, whole milk, cream, cheese, egg yolks, liver, cod liver oil, spinach, carrots, cabbage and several other vegetables.
Vitamin B. Promotes growth and stimulates the appetite, keeps the nerves steady. Without enough of it the appetite flags, digestion is upset and the nervous system is disordered. Good sources of vitamin B are whole grains in the form of
whole cereals and flours, egg yolk, milk, green and root vegetables and fruits. Yeast, too, has a rida supply.
Vitamin C. This is called “anti-scorbutic” because it prevents scurvy, the plague of sailors years ago when they could not get fresh foods. It, too, promotes growth, contributes to the building of good teeth and improves nutrition generally. A shortage of it brings sallow complexions, fatigue and low' resistance, besides an irritable disposition. So drink your tomato juice, eat plentifully of fresh raw fruits and leafy vegetables as well as potatoes. Liberal amounts of raw food are recommended, you will notice, as this vitamin is rather readily destroyed by cooking. Commercially canned fruits seem to have an advantage over the home canned ones in this respect, for they retain more.
Vitamin D. For the development of bones and teeth and
for the prevention of rickets. It is called "anti-rachitic” for this reason, and is popularly known as the "sunshine vitamin.” Sunshine is the source of it, and you will find it in milk, egg yolk, cream, butter and green vegetables. In cod liver oil, too, and in irradiated fexxis. Manufacturers of certain cereals, certain dairies and other manufacturers are treating their products with violetray lamps to give them this vitamin.
Vitamin E. This affects reproduction along with A and B and is found in wheat germ seeds and green leaves, as well as in a great number of other fexxis. Very little is necessary in the diet, and if we look after the other vitamins there is no reason to give this one special consideration in menu planning.
Vitamin F. Not so thoroughly understood as the others, but we know it is associated in some way with its brother, B.
Vitamin G. Also connected with B in growth promoting. Milk has a good deal of it, eggs considerable, cereals a little, while tomatoes and carrots are an excellent source.
Water. A builder? Yes, indeed, for, although it provides no food element, it aids growth and development in many ways—by holding food substances in solution until they are absorbed into the tissues, by regulating body temperature and by helping elimination of waste material. It is easy to understand its importance apart from thirst quenching when we remember that the body is two-thirds water. The sources are drinking water, beverages of all kinds, fruits and vegetables, as well as many foods of all classes.
Besides the builders, the body requires material for heat and energy. Proteins, fats, carbo-hydrates (starches and sugar) supply this. The proteins we know from the outline above, but the others may need some explanation.
Eats. These are provided by butter, cheese, cream, milk, fish and meat—the fatty part of meat and to a less extent the lean. Then there are vegetable oils from com, cotton seed and olives and the fat in nuts and other seeds, as well as some in egg yolks. Vegetable fexxis have very little.
Starches and Sugars. These are the cheapest source of fuel or energy material. Sugars we get from the refined product in its different forms: granulated, fruit, brown and so on; from syrups such as corn syrup, honey, molasses, from sweet fruits and vegetables. It is a quick source of energy and a concentrated form of fuel material. Too much sugar is not advisable; use it discreetly and it serves its purpose well.
The starches are plentifully supplied by cereals, bread, macaroni and other cereal products; by potatoes, parsnips, corn and other “starchy” vegetables; by tapioca, sago and corn starch. In the process of digestion starches are turned into sugar, and in this form fulfill their function as fuel for heat and Ixxiy activity.
Regulating Food Substances. These are the minerals, water, vitamins and cellulose or roughage which stimulate elimination. While adding no f«xxl element to the diet, a certain amount of roughage is essential to well being. Thus we have another reason for the importance of vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals or the outer coating of grains in our meals.
Now, with some understanding of our needs and some knowledge of the different classes of food and their contributions, let us make a few rules to guide us in planning the daily menus.
TN THE first place, think of not only one
meal at a time but all the meals for the day or, better still, for two or three days. Then we are likely to have them more interesting, more economical and more satisfactory from a dietetic standpoint. Choose some foods from each group for each meal —the building materials, the fuel fexxis, regulators, water and roughage. Use vegetables freely—two or three besides potatoes, and serve some of them raw. Make a point to have two servings of fresh fruit daily. Allow plenty of milk for drinking and for cooking, sufficient laxative food, and a generous quantity of water, enough sweets but not too much. A mixed diet is most satisfactory, so provide variety; there is no limit to the choice of foods in this land of plenty. Pay attention to flavors, colors and forms, and group them for good effect to the eye and the palate. In short, see that the menu you serve is well proportioned, the food adequate for body needs and the meal enjoyable.
But after the “what” comes the “how much.” The fuel value—heat and energy material—is measured by calories, and the number we require depends on age, sex, climate and activity. A person at rest needs less than one going about light housework or desk work, who in turn requires less than an active worker such as the mail man, the farmer or carpenter. Prof. Rose gives the energy requirement of normal adults as follows:
Calories Per Day
At rest but sitting most of
Work chiefly done sitting.. 2,2(X)-2,800 Work chiefly done standing or walking................ 2,700-3,000
Work developing muscular strength.................... 3.000-3,500
Work requiring very strong muscles............................ 4,000-6,000
The children have special needs, for they are growing and are active little people. The following chart from Prof. Rose will help you.
3— 4 .............
Calories Per Day
1.6001,900 1.700-2, (XX) 1.900-2,200 2,100-2,400
15— 16................................ 2,700-3,300
16— 17.................................. 2,700-3,400
980-1.280 1,060-1,360 1,140-1,440 1 220-1,520 1 300-1.600 1.380-1,680 1,460-1,760 1.550-1,850 1,650-1 950 1,750-2,050 1,850-2.150 1.950-2,250 2.050-2.350 2.150-2,450 2,250-2,550
Other factors influence the amount of food. Pregnant and nursing mothers require more, older people rather less than the average for a normal adult. Women as a rule need less than men.
In planning family menus you may have to take all these differences into consideration.
What happens if we do not have sufficient calories? Children cannot grow and develop at the normal rate, adults tire easily and are below par— loggy and susceptible to disease. Too many? Then we put on too much weight, with all its handicaps and disadvantages.
Proper food gcxxl in kind and suitable in amount to our age and occupation -contributes more than any other single factor to physical fitness, and the housekeeper in planning wise menus is largely responsible for the health of her family.
UNSHRINKABLE fabrics seem to be within reach of the textile manufacturer as a result of long research by a company which has finally placed the process of shrinking upon a scientific basis. In the new process, the finished cloth is passed through an ingenious mechanism comprised of detenskmizing or compressing surfaces, which grip it and exert enormous compressional force in a direction parallel with the cloth face. In other words, the threads
which have been previously pulled out are pressed back to any predetermined degree. As the behavior of every type of fibre under manufacturing conditions is known, it is a matter of simple calculation to find the degree of compression for any fabric.
An interesting feature of this new process is that the appearance is improved, and the doth becomes softer, handles more pleasantly, and is given a beautiful lustre. —Scientific American.