It’s often hard to come up with ideas for food that will tempt a sick person to eat.
That’s exactly the dilemma that the October 1926 issue of McCall’s magazine tried to help their readers to solve. This was especially important then since it seems to me that during this era, people took to their beds more often than we seem to do today. However, many of these hints and recipes can still be useful when we find ourselves forced to take a few sick days.
“There is hardly one of us who hasn’t at some time had an invalid or a convalescent to feed, and we know how discouraging it is to find dishes that will tempt the delicate appetite. But it can be done if we give it a little thought.”
In an article titled “When Someone’s Sick”, the writer provides us with a few tips for feeding the sick in general, along with a list of simple recipes that should work.
First, I’ll summarize their suggestions here.
1) Never ask the patient what he wants or tell him what he is to have. Let it be a surprise.
Then use your ingenuity to make the tray look as pretty and inviting as possible. Have the linen spotless and if you haven’t a cloth to fit the tray use a large napkin folded. Choose your prettiest, gayest china and glass… Put a small flower holder that won’t tip over easily on the tray, with a fresh flower or two in it.
2) Do not put too much food on the tray.
3) Do not let foods stand bfore serving – have hot ones hot and cold ones cold.
4) Cook all cereals long and thoroughly. Season everything very delicately. Give no condiments.
5) Serve little and often, rather than more at longer intervals. Be regular with the meals.
6) If you have no bedside table you can buy or perhaps make at home a bed tray with folding legs which fit over the patient’s knees.
A pillow placed across the lap is a good substitute for both.
7) The invalid will find straws easy to drink beverages from when it is difficult to lift a glass or cup.
And now, here is the list of recipes that were provided. Some actually sound like just what I would want when I’m sick, such as the ginger tea and the cracker gruel, despite the unattractive name. (Remember, these are recipes that even someone who feels sick to their stomach should be able to handle, not a meal you would eat for its deliciousness!)
Chicken or Meat Broth
Orange or Lemon Snow
Albuminized Fruit Juice
Chocolate Egg Malted Milk
If you are curious to read or even to try out any of the recipes, just click on the thumbnail images for a bigger copy.
And get well soon!