The author of an 1841 cookbook, Sarah Josepha Hale, advised her readers about eating hours. Those on a regular schedule should eat at a set time; those living on irregular schedules should eat when they get hungry.
Young people experiencing growth spurts eat often.
Feed children under seven every three hours. Hale recommended a slice of bread as a healthy lunch.
Don’t exercise before breakfast if you tend to become sick easily (delicate constitution.)
Never enter the sick room of someone ill with fever before eating breakfast or at least drinking coffee.
Planning an early morning departure? Make sure to eat a light breakfast as protection against weariness and cold.
Don’t eat a big supper right before going to bed.
It’s harmful to eat when overheated or exhausted. Rest about fifteen minutes before dining.
Much of this “1841” advice still rings true today.
-Sandra Merville Hart
Hale, Sarah Josepha. Early American Cookery: “The Good Housekeeper.” 1841, Dover Publications , Inc., 1996.