International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957
Delhi/Bombay/Madras/Calcutta, India

The Oslo Health Meal

The London correspondent of the American Medical Journal writes: " A new method in the feeding of children was presented some seven years ago by an experiment in a school in Oslo. Instead of a hot meal of the usual type served at midday, the children were given a breakfast composed of foods selected primarily with the object of making good the deficiencies in the home diet. The deficiency of animal protein was made good by a piece of goat's milk cheese and a glass of milk, which also supplied minerals and vitamins. There was entire wheat bread to supply vitamin B and the mineral salts lacking in white bread. Protection against scurvy, a danger in northern countries where cheap fruit is available for only a short part of the year, was given by half an apple or orange, a lettuce, or a raw carrot, depending on the prevailing prices. In addition, there was a good-sized pat of butter to add more vitamins A and D. When the child had eaten this meal, it was allowed, if still hungry, to fill up with bread and margarine. The experiment was such a success that this meal was adopted in almost every school in Norway and is now being tried out in the other Scandinavian countries. Both the development and the health of children were found to be better than when the hot meal of meat and cooked vegetables was provided.

"The 'Oslo breakfast ' has been introduced into England and found highly satisfactory; but it is given as a dinner instead of breakfast and is called the health dinner. In his report to the London County Council, just published, the school medical officer, Sir Frederick Menzies, states that the children taking the Oslo meal showed a greater increase in height and weight than children receiving the traditional English hot midday dinner. There was also a striking disappearance of minor cutaneous troubles. Menzies finds no evidence of general food shortage among London children, but some want of ingredients essential to health which are not easily obtained in the winter months."

"A little child shall lead them," says a very old Scripture. Let us hope that this younger generation, better fed on conscienceful food, will introduce into the homes from whence it comes this same food. Then will not only old and young grow healthier and stronger as did Daniel and his disciples in the courts of King Nebuchadnezzar, but a wave of joy will go through the animal kingdom as it is spared from cruel slaughter. CONSCIENCE p. 179, 4. April 1940,