No particular diet can be recommended for the infant that is so unfortunate as to be deprived of its natural nourishment. What agrees with one is quite unsuccessful with another. Different kinds of diet can only be tested. Children's little illnesses are often the result of food which, in their case, is unas-similating and indigestible; and it is often better to attempt a change of food than to resort to medicines.
City babies generally thrive poorly with cow's milk. Some can stand it, however, diluting it with a third water, adding a slight thickening of rice, well boiled and mashed, and also a little sugar. Others thrive well on goat's milk, when no other kind will answer. The Borden condensed milk serves like a charm with very young infants in cold weather; but in warm weather its excessive sweetness seems to cause acidification when taken. In New York, where it may be obtained fresh, without sweetening, I have heard that it is more satisfactory.
Some babies are ruddy and strong with an oatmeal diet (oatmeal porridge strained and mixed with the milk). I have already mentioned this as especially successful in Ireland and Scotland. However, in the warm climate of many of our cities in summer I have known the oatmeal diet to cause eruptions or boils. It is almost a crime to undertake to bring up children artificially in warm summer climates. Many a heart-ache is caused when, failing to supply the natural food, nothing would seem to agree with the baby.
Put a little butter into a saucepan for the purpose of keeping the mixture from sticking. When it is hot, pour in a thin batter of milk and flour, a little salted; stir well, and boil gently about five minutes; then add a little sugar. If the child is over three months old, an egg may be mixed in the batter for a change.
Tie wheat flour and corn meal (three-quarters wheat flour and one-quarter corn meal) into a thick cotton cloth, and boil it three or four hours. Dry the lump, and grate it as you use it. Put on the fire cream and water (one part cream to six parts water), and when it comes to a boil, stir in some of the grated lump, rubbed to a smooth paste with a little water. Salt it slightly. Judgment must be used as to the amount of thickening. For a young infant, the preparation should be thin enough to be taken in the bottle; if the child is older, it may be thicker. If the child is troubled with constipation, the .proportion of corn meal should be larger; if with summer complaint, it may be left out altogether.
boiled and mashed is a good infant diet in case of summer complaint.
Is undoubtedly the best relaxing diet for infants, and may be used instead of medicine.