Dietary Timeline

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Thomas Tryon in his publication A new method of educating children provided early dietary guidance for guardians and parents, in England. In an early passage from the book (cited in Coveney) Tyron extols the moral virtues of moderation and suggests that parents should teach their children "temperance in eating and drinking, and moderation in their sleep and exercise. By such methods as these the seeds of vice might more subdued and a foundation laid for the building upon an excellent and accomplished person."

Tyron makes specific recommendations for children:
"Simple meats and drinks, such in which no manifest quality is too predominant; that is, not too sweet nor too bitter, too salt nor too sharp, etc. for all extremes beget their own qualities and complections.but gruels, paps, rice, variously dress'd are very wholsom.and for drink, middling beer or ale is best, except for water."

For pregnant women, Tryon suggested that root vegetables should be avoided on account of "their crude and earthly qualities" that "naturally beget wind."

Tyron believed in the concept of food as nourishment for the soul as well as the body An earlier work, The ways to health, long life and happiness or a discourse on temperance was widely read in the US and England and was believed to have influenced Benjamin Franklin

Coveney, J. (2000) Food, Morals and Meaning. The pleasure and anxiety of eating.

"In 1695 the Medical School of Paris announced that coffee deprived men of their generative powers. Coffee drinkers, just like the victims of self-abuse, became shrivelled shadows of their former selves, with haggard looks and uncontrollable tremor."

Skrabanek, P. (1991) Risk factor epidemiology: Science or non-science. In Health, lifestyle and environment: Countering the panic. Social Affairs Unit, USA.