192. The Child’s Diet

Today’s reading: “The Ministry of Healing” pp. 383b–385a.

The best food for the infant is the food that nature provides.

That is, breast milk is what the infant should have. One of the reasons Ellen recommends breast milk is,

To a greater or less degree the nurse imparts her own temper and temperament to the nursing child.

In saying this Ellen predates science by around 100 years. It is interesting the effect breast milk has. I wonder if the same is true of dairy milk from stressed cows? What about the other hormones in cow’s milk?

Regularity in the diet of the infant is extremely important as it;

will not only promote health, and thus tend to make them quiet and sweet-tempered, but will lay the foundation of habits that will be a blessing to them in after years.

As the child grows older,

Mothers who gratify the desires of their children at the expense of health and happy tempers, are sowing seeds of evil that will spring up and bear fruit.

Other principles Ellen gives for this important time are,

  • Happiness is not the result of indulging appetite — this leads to gluttony, sickness and poisonous drugs.
  • Educate the child to eat wholesome foods, that promote health — not expensive dainties.
  • Educate tastes and appetite by teaching regularity — no food between meals. Not when the child chooses, but with the family.
  • The child has rights — respect their reasonable preferences.
  • Indulgence in healthy or too-frequent eating affects the child’s mental and physical states, their conscience, their future character and usefulness.
  • Meal times consist of and an “inviting, attractive table” and “cheerful, happy” company.
  • Appetite control is simply denying the harmful for the something far better.

Index to “The Ministry of Healing” readings.

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