COW'S MILK, when fed to babies should be diluted. Equal parts of pure, whole, raw milk, and pure, preferably distilled water, should be given to the young child. Absolutely nothing but water is to be added to the milk. If goat's milk, mare's milk or asse's milk is used, these same rules and regulations should apply.
Milk for babies should be half-and-half,--half water and half milk--up to six months, after which time it may be increased to two thirds milk and one third water.
Until the child is six months old, milk feedings should be four ounce feedings.
At six months these may be increased to six ounce feedings.
At nine months they may be increased to eight ounce feedings.
They should never be given over eight ounces.
One is apt to get a more uniform standard of milk where the milk comes from a herd of cows, than if it is taken from only one cow. It does not injure a baby to have its milk come from several cows in this way.
LIME WATER has been added to the milk of infants for several generations, because the doctors ordered it. The lime is not only of no value to the child, due to its crude form, it is also an irritant as well as a nutritive evil. An excess of lime, even of the organic lime salts, interferes with the mineral balance in the body. This is of particular importance to young babies. Besides these considerations, cow's milk contains three times as much lime as human milk. The giving of lime salts to children produces acidosis.
We must get the mineral elements that form the body in our foods. The body cannot utilize them in the forms of tinctures of minerals. Drug store iron or phosphorous or lime are not only absolutely valueless, but also harmful. This same fact holds true for common table salt.
BICARBONATE OF SODA added to the milk of an infant is an unjustifiable stab at the baby's digestion. It increases thc alkalinity of the milk and calls for greater effort in digestion. It overworks and impairs the gastric glands. It also destroys some of the vitamins of the milk.
MILK with corn starch, or arrow root, or crackers, or rice or barley water, or cereal water of any kind, or farina, or oatmeal, is an abomination. Babies so fed suffer and die from wasting gastrointestinal disorders. These foods set up fermentation, diarrhea, etc.
SUGAR should never be added to milk. It tends to produce fermentation and all of the resulting evils. A child can be given all the sugar it needs in fruit juices.
FRUIT SUGAR, or levulose, is predigested and ready for instant absorption and use in the body. It is this predigested sugar that instantly refreshes and revives the greatly fatigued man or woman.
The best source of sugar for the infant is found in grapes. Take the required amount of fresh, ripe grapes and crush them in a vessel. Squeeze the juice out of these and strain it. Put it into a bottle and give it to the child just like it takes its milk. Do not dilute the grape juice. Small babies may have four ounces of this at a feeding; older babies, that is after six months, eight ounces. Never give bottled grape-juice. Never cook the grape juice.
When grapes are out of season unsulphured figs or prunes may be used instead. These should be soaked over night in the usual way, then crushed and the juice strained off. This juice should be fed in the bottle and may be given in the same amounts that the grape juice is given.
These sweet fruit juices should not be given with the milk but should be given three to four hours after the milk feeding.
ORANGE JUICE is one of the most delicious and attractive foods that can be fed to babies. It contains pre-digested food that is ready for absorption and utilization when taken. This, perhaps, explains why a glass of orange juice is so refreshing to the tired person or to the man who has been on a fast. The sweeter the orange, the more refreshing it is.
Oranges are rich in lime and other alkaline salts and prevent or overcome acidosis. Ignorant doctors who decry oranges because they "make the blood acid" need to be punished severely.
The regular eating of orange juice results in the retention of calcium and phosphorous in the body, and in the assimilation of nitrogen (protein), out of all proportion to the amounts of these elements contained in the juice. The juice actually enables the body to utilize the elements better than it could otherwise do.
Nothing can be more helpful to children, and particularly undernourished children than orange juice not two or three spoonsful a day, but from a glass-full to three glasses full. Don't be stingy with the orange juice; stop kidding yourself and the child with tea-spoons full of the juice.
Orange juice may be given to infants from birth as may grape-juice. The two weeks old infant should be given juice of one-half an orange, about two ounces, undiluted. By the time the child is three months old it should be taking four ounces at a feeding of undiluted orange juice. At six months it should be taking eight ounces. Never add sugar or other substance to the orange juice.