Despite how much dietary recommendations have changed over the last century -- high-fat, low-fat, low-carb, no-sugar, etc. -- there are a few basic tenets from How to Select Foods that hold true today. Then there are the meals of lard and mutton. You have to give them credit for trying, since vitamins were first discovered in 1910.
Here's what the average family of five, including a "man who does fairly hard muscular work," should be eating.
Sugar: an essential part of a healthy diet!
Today, sugar is more or less the devil, and its artificial sweetener substitutes aren't much better. Not the case in 1917. In fact, it was touted as an essential, good-for-you nutrient. Sugar "serves as fuel for the body and to flavor the food," the manual asserts. "Unless small amounts of very sweet materials -- sugar itself, syrup, or honey -- are used, the diet is likely to be lacking in it." It's tough to imagine a time when Americans might have been deficient in sugar, since it's in EVERYTHING now, from marinara sauce to crackers to soup to yogurt.