July 05, 2008

Nutrition Education

There are industry trade groups associated with just about every food type you can think of. Beans, olives, milk, fruit, nuts, beef, chicken, wine--you name it, there's probably an international, national or regional group representing it. These associations usually aren't promoting a particular brand name, but like the food companies, they too, often publish promotional recipe pamphlets as part of their advertising efforts.

One of my posts last May was about an educational gelatine cookbook published for students and young cooks. That particular booklet contained product information, cooking instruction and recipes and was published by a food manufacturer. Many of these student-oriented recipe booklets were also published by trade organizations.

The National Dairy Council published quite a few recipe booklets that stressed the importance of milk and other dairy products as a part of a healthy diet.

I came across another one of their publications, Uncle Jim's Dairy Farm (1963, 24 pages), that wasn't a recipe book at all. Instead, it's a story about two city children, George and Betty, who go to spend the summer with their country cousins Andy and Jane, who live on a dairy farm.

This booklet was probably written for the 1st or 2nd grade level and was used as a teaching aid by elementary school teachers in their nutrition education activities.

This booklet was only one of several nutrition education booklets the National Dairy Council published from the 1940s through the 1960s. Other titles include:

  • My Friend the Cow
  • Milk for You and Me
  • When I Grow Up
  • Our Food, Where It Comes From
  • Hello U.S.A.
  • Is It True?

Uncle Jim's Dairy Farm was also produced as an educational film. I was tickled to find out that I could watch the old film right here on my computer.

Watching and listening to it now eerily takes me right back to the old school classrooms and auditoriums of the 1960s when the teacher would roll in the film projector from the audio-visual closet, turn out the lights and subject the entire class to some rather lame productions (which seemed overly simplistic even back then). While I don't have any recollection of this particular film, I do remember one about chickens.

An article in a 1954 issue of the Journal of Home Economics suggests how the film could be used as a social studies activity:

Either the study of farm animals or where our food comes from could stimulate an interest in milk and the milk products. The films "Our Foster Mother" and "Uncle Jim's Dairy Farm" could be shown. This would be an excellent opportunity to encourage drinking milk, and the teacher and pupils might plan a party with everybody being served a glass of milk.
I noticed that the color illustrations in the booklet contain the same people, wearing the same clothing, as in the movie.

Uncle Fred and Aunt Alice's family car looks sort of familiar. My first car, acquired free-of-charge from my parents at age 16, was a metallic green 1963 Chevrolet Impala 4-door hardtop that looked similar to the car in the photo. What a dinosaur I thought that car was!

Shown below are some cover photos of the other eductional booklets. My Friend the Cow is by Lois Lenski, one of my favorite children's book authors and illustrators.


At 7:24 AM CDT, Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I remember these kinds of "children's books" from when I was growing up, and suspect I was probably heavily influenced by some!

At 4:59 AM CDT, Blogger Rochelle R. said...

I meant to comment on these sooner. I have several of them that I got when I was a preschool teacher. Somewhere or another I bought a folder of vintage dairy educational materials. What a surprise to see them here. I have quite a few educational food brochures for children and teachers. I guess I should blog about some of them.


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