Historical Events

The first female African American doctor, Rebecca Crumpler, wrote this book in 1883 and describes how a broiled lamb chop or beef should be added to an infant's diet while weaning. The full book is easy to read and is again a fascinating mix of religion and observation, typical of the time period.

A book of medical discourses: in two parts

Now since we have noticed to some extent how sudden emotions, as of grief, anger or fright may shock the child at the breast through the agency of those little organs called nerves,— we will pass on to notice some of the causes of bowel com plaints arising from the nature of the food eaten by the nurse. Probably there is no cause more frequently productive of infantile bowel com plaints, both during and after the month, than that of the too early indulgence in a mixed diet. 


It may be well to enumerate some of the more objectionable articles of diet from the first day of confinement to the seventh or ninth month, or time for weaning. 


Of the vegetables, — beans, dry or green, cabbage, cooked or raw, beets, turnips, cucumbers, green peas, dandelions, spinach and Carolina potatoes. Pickles of all kinds. 

All of the finny tribe ; oysters and lobsters being the most dangerous. Of the meats, fresh pork and veal. 

Of the desserts, egg custards, pastry, cheese and preserved fruits. 

Of the fluids — coffee — unless ordered for medicinal purposes — raw milk, wines, ales or beers. 


As a matter of convenience I will introduce what in reason should constitute the proper diet for the same period of time ; the modes of preparation being left to those acting as nurses. A large number of women detest gruel, or " baby-food," as they term it. In this, many, no doubt, are excusable, owing to the condition in which it may previously have been presented to them ; you can make a horse leave his oats by sprinkling pepper over them. But to the point : There are about an equal number who enjoy it, and it is always best to try and avoid whims and deny one's self in every possible manner till after the milk flows freely. A woman cannot sink on plenty of nice oat, corn-meal, or flour-gruel, minute pudding or toast panacea, given often in small quantities. Of course if any article, however well liked, is made by the gallon, so to speak, and warmed over and again, it will become to be loathed ; and too great quantities taken may cause much distress in the stomach. Gruels of all kinds should be well mixed with boiling water in a clean, block tin, covered pail; then set in a clean vessel of water to boil, stirring it till well done. Coarse grain porridges should always be strained; as also should broths. 

For fluids : — Shells, broma, hot milk, pure or watered to suit, are each of themselves nourishing. If the mother's milk is scant, a tea made of Indian posy or life everlasting, and drunk as table tea, with milk and sugar, if desirable, is good to increase it. The diet should become gradually solid, say in the early part of the day a broiled lamb chop, broiled beef, liver, tripe, sirloin steak, or broths without vegetables. Broiled meats retain the nutritive principles better than when otherwise cooked. If tea or coffee is found to lessen the flow of milk, it may be inferred that if continued, all of the fluids of the body will materially change.

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