chapter  15
23 Pages

Food and nutrition in childhood

Ensuring dietary adequacy, diversity and choice
WithShreelata Rao Seshadri

Recognising the importance of food and nutrition for the physical, cognitive and social-emotional development of the child, this chapter attempts to move the discourse on dietary adequacy beyond instrumental goals of maintaining normal weight and preventing morbidity and mortality to being sensitive to the sociocultural diversity of food. An overview of the efficacy of the current food security and school feeding programmes in ensuring dietary adequacy and diversity among Indian children is presented. The chapter concludes by offering some suggestions for ways in which national food policy and programming could be strengthened by reviving traditional food practices, empowering communities to address their own nutritional needs, introducing greater dietary diversity into school menus and expanding the scope of nutrition-sensitive programmes to enhance the effectiveness of food security interventions.