The Delhi government has announced to introduce mini snack breaks and parents counselling sessions in all city schools with the aim to battle malnutrition in children.
The Directorate of Education (DoE) has issued a circular in this regard directing all the schools to include a 10-minute mini snack break in the school timetable. The mini break should be 2.5 hours before the lunch break, it said.
Schools have been asked to prepare a weekly planner of snacks offering three food choices every day which may include food items such as seasonal fruits, sprouts, salad, roasted chana, peanuts, among others. The planner will be displayed in each class, the circular said.
“Suggested items should be cost-effective. Students must be advised to bring at least one food item mentioned in the weekly planner for mini snack break,” the DoE circular stated.
It added that the head of schools and home science faculty will monitor implementation of planner during the break. “In evening shift schools, mini snacks with low volume and high nutrition should be preferred in weekly planner.”
The department has also directed the schools to hold class-wise counselling sessions in consultation with home science teachers emphasising on the relation between healthy diet and its effect on performance in academics, attention span, physical activity, comprehension, and growth of children.
It said that the counselling sessions should also focus on encouraging parents and guardians to make low cost high nutritive value dishes as suggested by home science teachers at school.
“Class teachers maintain a record of height and weight of each student enrolled in the class and update it regularly. This record must be correlated with general health as well as presence of children in schools so that children at risk of malnutrition may be identified in time and parents may be informed accordingly,” the circular read.
Furthermore, it said alternative dishes with high nutritive values may be introduced in the menu for mid-day meals. “These strategies will also reduce absenteeism of students in school owing to poor health conditions. It will also promote overall health and development of the students,” the circular added.
With inputs from PTI
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