Download Revised Mid-Day Meal Guideline 2006
Download Mid-Day Meal Guideline 2004
State/UT– specific Guidelines to ensure Regular, Un-interrupted provision of Cooked Meal of Good Quality
It is absolutely vital to ensure that children in every eligible primary school/EGS-AIE Centre get a cooked meal of satisfactory quality, on every school-day, without any interruption. To ensure this in thousands of primary schools and EGS-AIE Centres scattered across a State is a challenging task. State Governments/UT Administrations will have to develop and circulate detailed guidelines to ensure this.
Some common obstacles which may come in the way of regular supply of cooked mid-day meal are:-
- Delay in flow of monetary assistance from the Centre to the States (e.g. due to late or defective submission of claim or other procedural delays),
- Irregular supply of foodgrains from FCI godown or interruption in their timely transportation to schools,
- Failure of the local implementation agency to adequately procure and stock up cooking ingredients
- Absence of cook for any reason, etc
Programme will have to be so implemented as to take care of all the above (and any other) contingencies. As regards the first point mentioned above, State Governments will have to make adequate provision for the programme in their annual budget, in anticipation of actual flow of Central assistance . It must be understood that Central assistance as per norms and will get transferred in due course.
However, if for any reason, there is some delay in its actual transfer, that must not be allowed to interrupt actual provision of cooked mid-day meal to children. Similarly, State-specific guidelines will be necessary regarding precautions to be taken, and alternative/back-up arrangements to be made to ensure that any other contingencies are not allowed to interrupt the programme.
Need for Safety and Hygiene in Preparation of Mid-Day Meal :-
State Governments will be expected to ensure that Mid-Day Meal programme is implemented with utmost regard to safety and hygiene. Towards this end, special attention would need to be paid, inter alia, to the following aspects:-
- Kitchen/Kitchen Shed should be separate from classrooms, should be located as far away from classrooms as possible, and should always be kept clean. It should preferably have a raised platform for cooking, and should have adequate light, ventilation and arrangement for drainage/waste disposal.
- Fuel (kerosene/fuel wood/charcoal/LPG) should be stored safely, so that there is no fire hazard.
- Smokeless chulhas should be used to the extent possible.
- Use of firewood should be discouraged as far as possible in the interest of environmental protection.
- If cooking is done with kerosene/gas, cooking staff /agency should be specifically trained in safe handling of stoves, gas cylinders, etc.
- All ingredients used for cooking (i.e. foodgrains, pulses, vegetables, cooking oil and condiments) should be free from adulteration and pest infestation, and should be used only after proper cleaning, washing, etc.
- All the above ingredients should be stored in proper containers, which should protect them from moisture, pests, etc.
- All persons engaged in handling of ingredients, and in cooking and serving the mid-day meal should be trained in hygienic habits [e.g. regular cutting of nails, washing hands and feet with soap before commencement of cooking/serving, etc],
- All cooking and serving utensils should be properly cleaned and dried every day after use.
Mid-Day Meal not to adversely affect teaching-learning
It has to be always borne in mind that Mid-Day Meal programme is meant to boost children's participation and learning at the primary stage, and not to interfere with it. The programme should not be implemented in such a manner that it, in any way, adversely effects either the duration or quality of actual teaching-learning in school. As a corollary, teachers should not be assigned responsibility connected with the programme except the following:-
- Testing of food prior to being served to children with a view to ensuring that it is of good quality, and is wholesome, and
- Supervision of actual serving and consumption of the mid-day meal so that it is done in an orderly manner, and children consume their meal hygienically.
VECs/PTAs should make arrangements so that, as far as possible, at least two of their members are present everyday at the time of the meal, to shoulder above responsibilities, along with the teachers.
The mid-day meal should be so organized that the entire process of serving and consumption of the meal does not take more than 30-40 minutes.
Mid-Day Meal to be wholesome and varied :-
Menu of the mid-day meal should, as far as possible, vary from day-to-day. It is possible to plan an economical, yet varied and nutritious menu, and this must be done in consultation with the local community, mothers, PTA, women's Self-Help Group, as also nutrition experts like staff of Home Science Colleges and officers of Food & Nutrition Board of the Government of India posted in the State/UT. Menus should be planned in a suitably decentralized manner.
Voluntary Community Support for Mid-Day Meal to be encouraged :-
Members of the community should be encouraged and invited to contribute towards providing a wholesome meal to children. There are many social occasions like religious festivals, marriages, etc. when local families will be happy to contribute a special dish or a sweet to the school Mid-Day Meal programme. This, as also other voluntary contributions from the community (say, in the form of cooking device/cooker, utensils, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, etc.) should be encouraged.
Mid-Day Meal to be used as a vehicle for inculcation of hygienic habits, discipline, and spirit of equality among children, as also for providing them work experience
Apart from hygienic processing of ingredients and cooking of meal, it is important that children themselves are trained to eat their meal hygienically. For this, they must be encouraged to develop habits like:-
- Washing their hands with soap before eating,
- Cutting their nails regularly
- Using clean utensils for eating,
- Avoiding littering and wastage of food
- Cleaning their plate and rinsing their hands and mouth after eating.
Organisation of serving and eating of mid-day meal in an orderly and efficient manner is a substantial task. Children should be trained to form queues, wait patiently for their turn, chew their food properly, and clean up after they have eaten. Disabled children should be given precedence in queues, and should also be otherwise helped to the extent necessary.
The mid-day meal programme is also meant to be a vehicle for inculcating social equality among children. There should not be any discrimination and segregation of any sort – on community or other basis – in serving/consumption of the meal. It should be utilized as an opportunity to instil in children values of equality, cooperation and discipline.
Wherever possible, Schools should develop a farm or kitchen garden for growing food articles which are used in preparation of Mid-Day Meal. This and other activities connected with Mid-Day Meal (eg. account-keeping) should also be utilised for providing work experience to children. Older children should also be involved in orderly distribution and consumption of the mid-day meal.
Mid-Day Meal to be used for Micronutrient Supplementation and De-worming :-
The mid-day meal programme should also be utilized for appropriate interventions relating to micronutrient supplementation and de-worming, e.g.
- Administration of six monthly dose for de-worming and Vitamin-A supplementation.
- Administration of weekly Iron and Folic-Acid supplement
- Other appropriate supplementation depending on common deficiencies found in the local area.
State Governments are expected to issue detailed guidelines in this behalf.
Technical advice and doses for the above may be obtained by Schools from the nearest Primary Health Centre/Government Hospital, and may be funded from appropriate schemes of the Health Department, or the School Health Programme of the State Government – unless a State Government is able to provide funds for this from its own resources under the Mid-Day Meal Programme itself.
Regular Monitoring of Programme Implementation and its Impact :-
The Mid-Day Meal Programme would need to be monitored in two ways, namely:-
- How well the programme is being implemented (i.e. in terms of all children regularly getting a meal of satisfactory quality),
- What effect, if any, the programme is having in terms of improving children's :-
- Nutritional status
- Regularity of attendance, and
- Retention in and Completion of Primary Education.
The above two sets of parameters may be called “Programme Parameters” and “Impact Parameters”, respectively. These parameters will be expected to be monitored in the following manner:
|Type of parameter
||Who may monitor?
||Frequency of Monitoring
||Type of parameter
|I.Programme Parameters :-
||Regularity and wholesomeness of mid-day meal served to children
||i) Members of VEC/PTA/SMDC
||Non-discrimination against children of weaker sections
||Cleanliness in cooking, serving and consumption of mid-day meal
||Timely procurement of Ingredients, fuel, etc. of good quality
||Implementation of varied menu
||Gram Panchayat / Municipality / Representatives of Block-level SMC
||Over-all quality of Mid-Day Meal
||· Officers of State Govt. belonging to Revenue/Administration, Rural Development, Education, Nodal Departments, and any other suitable Department (e.g. WCD, Food, Health, etc.)
· Officers of Food & Nutrition Board (FNB), Govt. of India , posted in the State/UT
· Nutrition Experts / Institutions identified / nominated by the State Govt.
||As per a certain target of inspections per month, to be fixed by State Govt. in consultation with FNB /Institution, etc. concerned.
|II. Impact Parameters :-
||Nutritional Status – assessment of percentage of underweight children at school level
||Twice a year
||Sample studies in regard to each of the items 1 to 3 above. Study in regard to Nutritional Status would include study of various deficiencies mentioned in para 1.1 of the guidelines, especially incidence of low weight-for-age (underweight) and anaemia.
||Appropriate institutions selected by State Govt./District Nodal Agency/District-level SMC
State Government will be expected to fix monthly targets for inspection of mid-day meal served in Schools/EGS-AIE Centres in respect of officers of District, Sub-Divisional, Tehsil/Taluka,Panchayat Department block and other suitable levels belonging to Departments like:
- Revenue/General Administration
- Rural Development/Urban Administration
- School Education
- Other related Departments e.g. Women & Child Development, Health & Family Welfare, Food & Civil Supplies, etc.
- Nodal Department for the MDM programme (where it is a Department other than one of the above)
Inspection targets should be so fixed and inspections should be so coordinated that, as far as possible:-
- MDM programme in about 25% of the Primary Schools and EGS/AIE Centres is inspected in every quarter, and
- All Primary Schools and EGS/AIE Centres are inspected at least once every year.
Suitable Inspection Rosters will be prepared for every block/town/city to ensure the above, and their implementation will be monitored in every meeting of Block, District and State level SMCs