Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9600


Nutritional Contribution of Mid Day Meal to Dietary Intake of School Children in Ludhiana District of Punjab

Bhawna Mehta, Kiran Grover and Ravinder Kaur

Today the Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) is the largest school lunch programme in the nation. It has been
reported that MDMS has catered to the nutritional needs of school children in both rural and urban areas. The present study was, therefore, an attempt to evaluate the nutritional contribution of MDM to the actual daily dietary intake of children. For the purpose, two hundred school children in the age group 7-9 years were randomly selected with equal number from both rural and urban schools. It was observed that a cyclic menu for six days provided by State Mid Day Meal Cell was uniformly followed by all schools. The data revealed that kadhi chawal was the most liked meal (45%) followed by sabji roti and dhal chawal (35%), dhal roti (30%) and channa roti (29%). The least preferred meal was sweet rice (26%). The energy and protein content of six days menu varied from 350-386 Kcal and 10.9- 11.9 g protein per day which was below the recommended norms of 450 Kcal and 12 g protein. The comparison of average daily nutrient intake of children with RDA [1], showed that intake of all the nutrients was inadequate. The Mid day meal was found to be a substitute rather than a supplement for the home meal. The percent contribution of energy, protein and fat by the MDM to actual nutrient intake of children was 28.2, 51.7 and 27.5 respectively. The
percent contribution of other nutrients was β carotene (22.7), thiamine (28.3), riboflavin (25.3), niacin (28.7), folacin (23.6), vitamin C (15.2), iron (25.7) and calcium (27.7). The findings suggested to increase the amount of fat, green leafy vegetables and vitamin C rich fruits to improve the calorie and micronutrient contribution of mid day meal to the dietary intake of school children.