Trible (tamtrible) wrote in little_details,

Preindustrial formula

No real idea how to research this. Links/search term suggestions/etc would be as welcome as direct answers.

Ok. Our Heroine, Ruby, is a healer/midwife/mage with a 3-month-old baby. Setting is fantasy-vague preindustrial Fertile Plains. The breadbasket of the fairly unspecified Empire. Knowledge of medical matters is a good bit better than historical equivalents (actual, ya know, knowledge, not just vague bs about humors and such), but for my purposes I shouldn't use any techniques or ingredients that would not be available in, say, a moderately prosperous Renaissance-era farming village (which is also probably the nearest cultural equivalent).

Now, the baby is primarily breast-fed, but sometimes Ruby is too busy doing Other Things. And she's definitely not wealthy enough to have a wet nurse. So, what would the sprog likely be fed by [insert appropriate helper]? Cow/goat milk? Thin gruel? Something like rice milk/almond milk? Would she be handed off to another villager who was nursing?...

And, once Ruby is on the road, and not necessarily near sources of fun stuff like fresh milk, what would she be fed whilest Ruby is too busy to be disturbed? (the fate of the world, and all that...) Manky several-days-old cow/goat milk? Reconstituted dried milk? The aforementioned gruel or similar?

Edit: I think I've got the first bit sorted out, though if anyone's still reading this I'd still love opinions on what travel-stable renaissance-ish food would be most suitable/least bad, from modern knowledge of nutrition and such (in terms of "least likely to cause immediate harm", it won't be her Primary Diet), for a 4-month-old infant (I forgot to factor in travel time before). It needs to be something that either stores ok in a prepared state, or can be prepared by a 9-year-old.
Tags: ~childrearing

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