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A report by the panel on the National Education Policy from Karnataka has recommended that eggs, meat and some other foods should not be given to children as part of the midday meal program. The report alleges that, due to Indians’ small body frames, the excess energy from regular consumption of eggs and meat leads to lifestyle disorders. 

The panel’s recommendation has been severely criticised by nutritionists, who have termed them as unscientific and questioned the panel members’ credentials.

At foodnetindia, we disagree with the recommendation to ban meat and eggs from the midday meal program. Both are good sources of protein and, given the severe protein deficiency among Indian children, banning these products will do a lot more harm than good. In fact, the ‘small body frame’ argument that the panel has used to justify its recommendation, is most likely the result of malnourishment and lack of sufficient protein. 

South Asians born of well nourished and healthy mothers; and well nourished themselves since infancy, have the same frame size and muscularity as their Caucasian, African or Asian counterparts. Any study of third generation Indian immigrants in the developed world will demonstrate this adequately.

We do, however, agree with the panel’s recommendation to ban flavoured milk and biscuits in the midday meals. Both are high sugar, high simple carb products. Biscuits should under no circumstances be served except as an occasional treat, and milk should be regular milk.

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