128 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
their children equally well with soups of boiled bread and porridge seasoned with oil.
Milk and Eggs. These are foods which not only contain nitrogenous substances in an eminently digestible form, but they have the so-called enzymes which facilitate assimilation into the tissues, and, hence, in a particular way, favour the growth of the child. And they answer so much the better this last most important condition if they are fresh and intact, keeping in themselves, one may say, the life of the animals which produced them.
Milk fresh from the cow, and the egg while it is still warm, are assimilable to the highest degree. Cooking, on the other hand, makes the milk and eggs lose their special conditions of assimilability and reduces the nutritive power in them to the simple power of any nitrogenous substance.
To-day, consequently, there are being founded special dairies for children where the milk produced is sterile; the rigorous cleanliness of the surroundings in which the milk-producing animals live, the sterilisation of the udder before milking, of the hands of the milker, and of the vessels which are to contain the milk, the hermetic sealing of these last, and the refrigerating bath immediately after the milking, if the milk is to be carried far,— otherwise it is well to drink it warm, procure a milk free from bacteria which, therefore, has no need of being sterilised by boiling, and which preserves intact its natural nutritive powers.
As much may be said of eggs; the best way of feeding them to a child is to take them still warm from the hen and have him eat them just as they are, and then digest them in the open air. But where this is not prac-