A proven remedy for malnutrition in preschool children (below the age of six) in State-run anganwadi centres could soon be in hand.
In a first-ever intervention to address malnutrition among children, the CFTRI, Mysuru, on the State’s request, began distributing nutritious food to these centres over a month ago. This programme was for about 100 undernourished children and an equal number of healthy children. The Department of Women and Child Development had recently found that the district has about 329 severely malnourished children and over 100 of them were in about 13 anganwadi centres in Nanjangud taluk.
Rice mix, high protein rusk, energy food, nutri chikki with Spirulina, nutri sprinkle, sesame paste, and fortified mango bar containing macro and micro-nutrients were given to the children.
“The change in children, especially gain in weight, will be examined for six months. If the foods aid in fighting malnutrition, the remaining malnourished children in anganwadi centres across the district will get these foods. Importantly, the same model can be replicated in other districts,” said Radha, Deputy Director, Women and Child Development, Mysuru.
The anganwadi workers and parents have also been educated about the project.
Ms. Radha said doctors collected blood samples of malnourished children before feeding them nutritious foods to check their haemoglobin count. “After six months, the count will be taken again. The impact of the programme on the health of the children will be assessed. If it becomes successful, we may take over production of foods, taking the formula from CFTRI,” Ms. Radha said.
Preschool children are susceptible to undernourishment. If the diet is not balanced, this may harm physical and cognitive development and diminish the child’s overall growth
Central Food Technological Research Institute
Nutri chikki with Spirulina supplement
Fortified mango bar