My first meal was chosen for me since I was obviously too little to get it for myself. I relied on a ready, free, healthy supply from my mother–breast milk. She was bucking a trend toward formula already taking hold in 1947 and may have been rebelling against her mother’s urge to be “modern.” It was a rounded diet, giving me everything I needed to grow and develop and was my only food for a few months. Then, much to my disgust, I encountered Pablum, a recently marketed cereal for babies. Later we would feed Pablum to our litter of puppies. They seemed to enjoy it.
My siblings were also breast fed until they had the treat of rice cereal added to their meals. By then Gerber had the market on that first baby food and promoted it widely. I remember my mother occasionally leaving a bottle, a can of evaporated milk and instructions to prepare it for the baby sitter for my youngest sister. No commercial formula ever entered our house.
Babies were expected to be pudgy. I remember my mother telling me that when she was young in the 1920’s children were praised for being plump. It was considered insurance against succumbing to any of the childhood diseases still prevalent. The main goal for my diet was that it allowed me to gain weight. Those were the days!