126 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
the child has not yet the capacity for completely masticating the food, and his stomach is still incapable of fulfilling the function of mincing food matter.
Consequently, soups, purees, and meat balls, should constitute the ordinary form of dish for the child's table.
The nitrogenous diet for a child from two or three years of age ought to be constituted chiefly of milk and eggs, but after the second year broths are also to be recommended. After three years and a half meat can be given; or, in the case of poor children, vegetables. Eruits are also to be recommended for children.
Perhaps a detailed summary on child diet may be useful, especially for mothers.
Method of Preparing Broth for Little Children. (Age three to six; after that the child may use the common broth of the family.) The quantity of meat should correspond to 1 gramme for every cubic centimetre of broth and should be put in cold water. No aromatic herbs should be used, the only wholesome condiment being salt. The meat should be left to boil for two hours. Instead of removing the grease from the broth it is well to add butter to it, or, in the case of the poor, a spoonful of olive oil; but substitutes for butter, such as margerine, etc., should never be used. The broth must be prepared fresh; it would be well, therefore, to put the meat on the fire two hours before the meal, because as soon as broth is cool there begins to take place a separation of chemical substances, which are injurious to the child and may easily cause diarrhea.
Soups. A very simple soup, and one to be highly recommended for children, is bread boiled in salt water or in broth and abundantly seasoned with oil. This is the classic soup of poor children and an excellent means of