This section is from the book "The American Woman's Cook Book", by Ruth Berolzheimer. Also available from Amazon: The Domestic Arts Edition of the American Woman's Cook Book.
In order to encourage good digestion and to make sure that the family enjoys the meal as well as receives benefit from it, all of the following factors should be considered:
The Staying Quality of Food - Does it leave the stomach quickly or slowly? For healthy, active adults working outdoors, a great deal of food that has considerable staying quality may be highly desirable. For indoor workers and for children this type of food may be the wrong choice.
Fats and fat-rich foods all have staying quality. Cream sauces, cereals and similar foods have moderate staying qualities. Liquid foods, foods containing meat-juices or fruit acids are likely to encourage quick passage of food along the digestive tract. This is one reason for beginning a meal with meat soup or fruit in some form.
Too Much Sweet Food should not be included, since it may give rise to excessive fermentation in the digestive tract. Too Much Meat and Eggs should not be included, since they may give rise to excessive putrefaction in the digestive tract.
The Texture of Food plays an important part in its attractiveness. Crisp foods should be associated with soft ones. Variations in texture, even in a single dish, always appeal: oatmeal with cream and a sprinkle of coarse sugar; rice pudding with raisins; ice-cream with cake; crackers with cheese; crisp salad with soft dressing.
The Appearance of Food is important to civilized man. Beautiful color and dainty, attractive arrangement play a large part in a successful meal.
The Flavor of Food plays an important part. Too often, however, food is selected only on the basis of what tastes good. The main background of the diet should be made up of bland, mild-flavored foods, like milk, bread, cereals, many vegetables. The accent should come by the use of the more highly flavored foods such as meat, fruit, sugar, condiments and herbs of various kinds.
Suggestions for the General Plan of a Day's Meals