Welcome to the Childhood Nutrition exhibit produced by the students in Professor Richard Meckel's American Studies seminar, "Erasing the Urban Deficit."

Click on the links below to learn about child nutrition in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, school feeding in open-air schools, the milk question, penny lunch programs, and the current state of school feeding in the United States.

A brief introduction to the history of child nutrition in the US.  Learn about undernourishment in American cities, the beginning of the discourse on child feeding, and the early development of food science.


Open-air schools synthesized public health efforts to combat contagious diseases with new nutritional programs to combat malnutrition.
Click here to learn about open-air school feeding in America.

Milk's near omnipresence in school lunchrooms today required serious political and scientific advocacy.  Click here to learn about milk's entrance to the school child's diet.

Privatized penny lunch programs sought to change public attitudes towards school feeding by providing low-cost meals to at-risk urban children.
Click here to learn about the inception and evolution of penny lunches in the US and abroad.