Port Blair, Aug 18: In consonance with the present Government’s Millet Mission policy to mainstream millets and to improve the nutritional diversity of the children by way of inclusion of millets- based recipes in the diet plan of Anganwadi Centres. The millet inclusion in the ICDS- SNP system stems from the status of malnutrition among children in the UT. The core objective of the programme for inclusion of super foods millets along with other locally available nutritious food products is to provide diversity in terms of nutrition and taste, while fighting malnourishment and to achieve the target of KuposhanMukt village for all the villages and hamlets thereby aiming for KuposhanMukt ANIs.
The Millet based Menu in Anganwadi Centers was introduced on 21/07/23 and the recipes are Multigrain Laddu, Ragi Kheer and Bajra Khichdi which are served to the beneficiaries from 6 months to 6 years children, Lactating and Pregnant Mothers registered in the Anganwadi Centres of ICDS Project Rangat.
The Millet Mela aimed to obtain the feedback on acceptability among the children and mothers on the newly introduced millet menu in the Anganwadi centers.
Deputy Commissioner, North and Middle Andaman in his address informed the Nutritional and Health Benefits of Millets and suggested that millets are not only comparable to major cereals with respect to their nutritional features but are very good sources of carbohydrates, Micronutrients, and photochemical with nutraceuticals properties. Millets contain 7-12 % protein, 2-5% fat, 65-75% carbohydrates and 15-20% dietary fiber. Finger millet is the richest source of calcium (300-350 mg/100 g) and other small millets are good sources of phosphorus and iron. He appreciated all Anganwadi Workers regarding their contribution towards the society and for building a healthy nation. Deputy Commissioner interacted with the beneficiaries, children and mothers present in the Anganwadi center.
Mrs. Uma Dev, CDPO ICDS Project Rangat described the importance of Millets for healthy growth and development of children. The range of vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus and Vitamin B. She also discussed the health benefits of Pearl Millet, Kodo Millet, Foxtail Millet, Sorghum, Barnyard Millet, Little Millet etc. During the Programme Anganwadi Workers displayed Millet based recipes and locally available low cost nutritious food. They also presented a cultural programme depicting the importance of the use of millets in daily menus for keeping a person healthy. The programme ended by planting of saplings in the Anganwadi center Pokadera by Mr. Ankit Yadav, Deputy Commissioner, North and Middle Andaman under Amrit Vatika.