This section is from the book "Practical Dietetics With Special Reference To Diet In Disease", by William Gilman Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Practical Dietetics with Special Reference to Diet in Disease.
Children often do best, however, upon a milk diet up to the end of the second year.
"Towards the end of the second year all the milk teeth have cut through, and the digestive functions have greatly increased in power. The lower maxilla becomes stronger, the muscles of mastication more powerful, the cavity of the mouth larger, the lips more fleshy, the oesophagus wider; the salivary glands are better developed, and secrete a larger quantity of saliva; the shape of the stomach changes, and its walls grow thicker, the intestinal canal longer and more capacious; in short, all the digestive organs are more adapted to an animal diet. At this period milk alone could not satisfy the child. It may be dispensed morning and evening, but during the day more substantial food is of absolute necessity" (Ammon).
It sometimes happens that a growing child acquires a distaste for plain water and for plain milk, and needs encouragement to take fluid enough for physiological requirements or the elimination of waste. In such cases the following named articles afford considerable variety for selection, and not only supply necessary fluid, but small quantities of nutriment as well: toast water, thin farinaceous gruels, such as arrowroot gruel, etc.; egg-albumen water flavoured with cinnamon or vanilla; "cambric tea" (i. e., a cup of hot water with sugar, a little milk, and a mere trace of tea to impart flavour); whey, buttermilk, koumiss, and matzol; malted milk; broths of beef, mutton, or chicken; various meat extracts in hot water; orangeade or pineappleade; unfermented grape juice; somatose in peppermint tea (Starr); ginger ale and sarsaparilla.
Young children of four or five years of age or more, commonly crave sugar, but do not care for fatty foods. They are apt also to like vegetable acids, and are therefore fond of fruits. These acids are wholesome, and the fruit is laxative and healthful when ripe.
It may seem superfluous to separately name the chief prohibited substances which must be kept from young children, but experience proves the contrary, and when common sense is lacking in those who are entrusted with their care, a written list of these foods should be given them. If the child's food is too coarse, too much energy is diverted in the attempt to digest it, and this is at the expense of normal growth and development. Young children should be kept out of the pantry and kitchen, where their attention is attracted by forms of food which they cannot have.
It is estimated by Edward Smith that in proportion to its weight, the growing child requires about three times as much carbonaceous food as the adult and six times as much animal food.