Hyderabad: Let’s make the mid-day meals more delicious for the students while not losing out on the nutritional values, is the ‘mantra’ being followed by School Education Department.
Soon, the students can look forward to more tasty afternoon break meals with efforts on to make mid-day meals into a more lipsmacking affair. Towards this, the department has decided to conduct cooking competitions and select the best recipes that could be adopted.
Giving a more pro-active role to young children in deciding what they get to eat, student representatives will join nutritional experts in the judges panel to select the best of the recipes that come in the cooking competition.
The School Education Department would be organising these competitions at the block, district and State level. One of the main objectives of cooking competition is to motivate cook-cum-helpers by incentivising the best recipes using the whole vegetables i.e. stems, leaves, peels, etc., besides promoting community participation in the preparation of the meal.
Apart from nutritional experts, one student each from the primary and upper primary will be adjudging the food prepared during the competition.
The Telangana School Education Department officials have recently got the proposal for conducting cooking competitions approved by the Project Approval Board (PAB) of the Mid-Day Meal scheme under the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
During the competitions, students will also be explained about nutritional benefits of usage of green leafy vegetables, plant parts such as stem, leaves, vegetable peels, pulses, and double fortified salt (importance of iron and iodine in diet), in cooking the meal.
“As approved by the PAB, the cooking competitions will be conducted soon and a date is to be fixed,” a senior official said.
During the PAB meeting, the State government has committed to serve hot cooked mid-day meals to 10,75,656 children in primary schools and 6.54 lakh students in upper primary schools on 225 working days. This apart, 1,765 children in special training will be provided meal on 285 working days.