I’ve not been spending a lot of time trying out new recipes or researching nutrition lately as I’ve been reading up on education. You could say I’ve been panicking about my children’s education. Either way, I loved seeing how the two worlds converged in the writing of one of my most favourite women of all times: Charlotte Mason.
Im always keen to understand more about traditional food and what previous generations thought was good and healthy food. Please find below extensive quotes from Charlotte Mason’s wonderful book Home Education (page 9).
The child must be well fed……Regular mears at, usually, unbroken intervals – dinner never more than five hours after breakfast; luncheon, unnecessary; animal food, once certainly, in some lighter form, twice a day – are the suggestions of common sense followed out in most well-regulated households. But it is not the food which is eaten, but the food which is digested, that nourishes body and brain And here so many considerations press, that we can only glance at two or three of the most obvious. Everybody knows that children should not eat pastry, or pork, or fried meats, or cheese, or rich, highly-flavoured food of any description; that pepper, mustard, and vinegar, sauces and spices, should be forbidden, with new bread, rich cakes and jams, like plum or gooseberry, in which the leather coat of the fruit is preserved; that milk, or milk and water, and that not too warm, or cocoa, is the best drink for children, and that they should be trained not to drink until they have finished eating; that fruit at breakfast is invaluable; that, as serving the same end, oatmeal porridge and treacle, and the fat of toasted bacon, are valuable breakfast foods; and that a glass of water, also, taken the last thing at night, and the first thing in the morning, is useful in promoting those regular habits on which much of the comfort of life depends.
It’s a fairly eclectic mix of advice, but in the midst of it surely all of us who love Nourishing Traditions/ WAPF can applaud the advice to eat animal food, to drink milk (but not too warm), to stay away from too much fresh yeasted bread, to eat oatmeal and (presumably not together?) bacon fat for breakfast. The advice about staying away from plum and goosebury jam seems obscure but it would be interesting to know what she based this assessment on. In the next section she has an extensive discussion on the benefits of wool over other fibres. I thought this was similarly obscure but a quick check on google suggested that there may be many benefits to using wool, particularly for those suffering with excema.
Who knew? We can actually learn things from people who lived over a hundred years ago….