Midday meals: Common, diverse menu from Nov 1

Free meal is served for students of government schools in Karnataka underAkshara Dasoha programme. DH File Photo for representation

Come November, midday meals menu in schools across the state will be uniform regardless of whether it is prepared by the school or one served by NGOs associated with the scheme.

Following reports that children were not consuming the food provided under the scheme due to lack of vegetables and food grains, the department of primary and secondary education has issued an order, revising the midday meal menu starting November 1.

The order makes it mandatory for schools and NGOs partnered with the mid-day meal scheme to follow the revised menu.

The menu has been fixed following the recommendations submitted by a committee constituted under the chairmanship of the joint director of midday meal scheme.

The revised menu gives more importance to vegetables, leafy vegetables and pulses (see box). In addition, NGOs and school authorities have been asked to use only Agmark-certified ingredients and spices to prepare the food to maintain quality and taste.

According to information available with the department, there was no fixed uniform menu for midday meal and each of the NGOs associated with the scheme has its own menu. The department said district-level officers will conduct inspections once a month to ensure that an uniform menu is followed by schools and NGOs.

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