A balanced diet is one which contains a proper concentration of essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates that help the body function well and maintain good health. This is a necessity in every individual. However, a balanced diet in children is an absolute necessity. At The Akshaya Patra Foundation, they don’t just prepare meals for children; they make sure that every meal that reaches our beneficiaries is enriched with the required components for their physical, cognitive and mental development.
Vitamins and Minerals: Beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower and carrots are the most common ingredients found in the mid-day meal on any given day. These are rich in vitamins and minerals that are highly responsible for the mental growth and cognitive development in children.
Carbohydrates: The Akshaya Patra kitchens situated in the Southern region of India prepare rice to suit the local palate, whereas in the North, they provide Rotis to the children. Both the varieties contain sufficient amount of carbohydrates that help store energy in the body. This helps children stay active all through the day.
Proteins: Spinach, potatoes and pulses like lentils and beans are regularly used in the school meals. A major advantage of these vegetables is that they are low in saturated fat and high in fiber which helps keep the body fit and active while also regulating the body’s metabolism.
What’s more, even the ingredients used in garnishing all the vegetable dishes like curry leaves, cardamom, coriander, cumin seeds, and cloves, also have a nutritional concentration in them. At every Akshaya Patra kitchen across 10 states and 22 locations in India, there is no compromise when it comes to including nutritional ingredients in the meal that a child is about to consume.
At our kitchens, they strongly believe that childhood is a sensitive period of development when growth occurs and they want to provide our children with all the nutrients they need to succeed in life.