Mid-day meals in Telangana get yummier, healthier

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Hyderabad: From just eggs, sambar, dal and vegetables, the menu for mid-day meals in Telangana government schools just got bigger, tastier and healthier.

About 10 new dishes, including peas pulao, vegetable biryani, soya mealmaker biryani, khichdi with drumstick leaves and moong dal have been added to the menu, with one of these to be provided once or twice a week.

The Directorate of School Education has already issued orders directing all government schools in this regard. The Directorate has revised the menu following suggestions from the Joint Review Mission team, which comprises officials of the Central and State governments along with nutritionists. The team had reviewed the existing menu and made suggestions.

“The food menu has been revised after suggestions of the JRM. Depending on availability of provisions, the schools must provide any one of these food items to students. District Education Officers have been already instructed to implement the revised menu,” a senior official said.

Apart from special rice items like peas pulao and veg biryani, the students are being provided egg thrice a week. While there is no limit on the food that is served, for a primary school student, the minimum meal comprises about 100 grams of rice and 20 grams of dal which will have an average of 24 grams of protein and 630 calories. For upper primary and high school students, minimum of 150 grams of rice and 30 grams of dal are served and it contains an average of 32 grams of protein and 695 calories.

According to estimates of the Directorate, about 25 lakh students take mid-day meals every day in schools.

Schools have also been directed to promote the use of seasonal low case unconventional foods in the mid-day meal. They have been asked to set up kitchen gardens in schools where land is available.

DEOs have been asked to develop a system to obtain periodic feedback from stakeholders and teachers.