17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Monday, March 3, 1913: Nothing much for today.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Since Grandma didn’t’ write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to go off on a tangent.
I’ve often wondered what children ate for lunch a hundred years ago. Today we hear so much about how unhealthy school lunches are—and that even children who bring their own lunch often don’t bring nutritious foods.
.Of course, in the small rural schools a hundred years ago all students needed to bring their own lunches. I found a great article on packing school lunches in a 1913 magazine:
The School Lunch Pail
Great care is essential in making the lunch and the lunch pail appear attractive, not only for the sake of the child’s appetite, but for his pride as well. Many a lunch has been surreptitiously thrown under a convenient hedge, because the child was ashamed to open it before the critical eyes of his playmate. . .
The foundation of a lunch is always the reliable bread sandwich. There are many dainty and appetizing sandwich fillings to be made from left-overs. . .
You can make the most appetizing custards and puddings in little ramekins. These are easily prepared the day before when you are getting dinner for the home folks. . .
There are a variety of simple cookies and cakes which delight the child’s heart, particularly when baked in “animal” fancy shapes.
No lunch pail is complete without fruit. If it is impossible to obtain fresh fruits, the dried stewed ones may be substituted. Figs, prunes or dates are wholesome and may be made doubly so when stuffed with nuts, peanut butter, or the puffed grains.
Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (September 15, 1913)