Dietary Timeline

To view a brief summary of the events from each period simply drag the mouse over the dates that are listed on the left.

To view more details click on the date link and you will be transferred to another page.

Click here to return to the timeline index page

Click here to return to the timeline intro page


The first USDA food guide, Food for Young Children by Caroline Hunt. Stipulates five food groups, milk and meat, cereals, vegetables and fruits, fats and fatty foods, sugar and sugary foods, but recommends that diets be selected from a number of different food groups to ensure that both known and unknown nutrients be consumed in adequate amounts.

Hunt, C.L. (1916) Food for Young Children. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farmers' Bulletin No. 717.

Number of food groups Protein-rich foodsMilk/meat breads Vegetables/fruit Other (incl fats)
5 Meats/other protein-rich food10% cal milk; 10% cal other1 cup milk plus 2-3 svg other(based on 3-oz. serving) Cereals and otherstarchy foods20% cal9 svg(based on 1 oz. or3/4 cup dry cereal svg) Vegetables and fruit30% cal5 svg(based on average 8 oz. svg.) Fatty foods (20% cal)- 9;Sugars (10% cal)- 10(based on 1 tbsp. svg)

Source: USDA, Human Nutrition Information Service, 1993
[cited in G:Davis, C. & Saltos, E. (1999) Dietary Recommendations and How They Have Changed Over Time. In America's Eating Habits: Changes and Consequences, Frazao, E. (ed) Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 750.]

Around the same time, a Food Committee of the Royal Society suggested that 70-80 grams of protein and 3,000 kilocalories of energy be consumed for the average man, but this was to include a certain quantity of fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition it was recommended that children's diets should contain "a considerable proportion" of milk.