Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Healthy Wartime Diet for Children

British Government Wartime Leaflet on healthy eating
(Front page)

The above photograph shows the front page of British Government leaflet giving advice on ensuring a healthy diet for children.

For additional information click on 'Comments' below


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

On the British 'Home Front' during the "People's War" with restricted food supply sources it was important for each housewife to make the best of what resources were available. These were the days when it was largely expected the 'housewife; would run be in charge of domestic chores in the home such as feeding the children and a husband if he was not living away because of war service.

Rationing of food and other essential supplies was a way of life in Britain during WW2. To assist the housewife to do her best running a home and feeding a family the Ministry of Food issued a series of war cookery leaflets. The photograph above shows the front cover of War Cookery Leaflet No 10, dealing with the importance of providing a healthy wartime diet for children. the leaflet emphasises the importance of teaching children to like the foods necessary good health.


The leaflet advises on the providing the following three categories of food for children:

(1). Foods that build bones, muscle & teeth: milk, cheese, eggs, meat and fish

(2) Foods for the general upkeep of the body and for protection against illness: vegetables, salads and fruit juice.

(3) Foods to provide energy for ceaseless activities (with or at the end of a meal only): wholemeal or national bread, potatoes, oatmeal or rolled oats and rations of sugar, jam or fat.


Additionally, the Ministry leaflet advises that the following foods should be restricted:

(1) Sweets, sugar, buns, cakes and biscuits (as they spoil the appetite for the more important foods)

(2) Fried foods (as they are not easily digested)

(3) Strong tea or coffee


Rationing of food supplies continued for some years after the war. Many people had their own allotments and some kept their own hens, rabbits, pigs or pigeons. Others went fishing, collected wild berries or mushrooms from the countryside or shellfish from the seashore when these were in season.

My paternal grandmother kept hens during and after the war. This meant the family had a regular supply of fresh free-range eggs - provided they were not carried off by a marauding fox! One of her grandchildren (my cousin Brenda) was born in south London in 1946. Fresh eggs were still rationed and in short supply in London. Although grandmother was living about 300 miles away from London she was able to post some of her fresh free-range eggs to London so that her granddaughter could have some. Mothers (and grandmothers) know what is best!

Fresh eggs were better for a growing infant than the dried egg alternative. Those were the days when eggs were a healthy food, and there were no concerns about cholesterol.

I have a copy of letter written by my father in March 1947 to his brother in London. In the letter my father mentions he is going to parcel up some of these fresh eggs for Brenda when the letter was posted. Evidently, the eggs were parcelled up so they arrived without getting broken. As can be seen from this example, it was helpful having family to rely upon - even if they lived some distance apart.


Wednesday, 16 March, 2011  

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