According to officials, around 2.71 lakh children between the ages of three and six are malnutritioned while over 5500 children are underweight.

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja Agricultural Minister VS Sunil Kumar and Biju Prabhakar during the launch of nutrition bar barKK Shailaja, VS Sunil Kumar and Biju Prabhakar during the launch of nutrition bar
news Health Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 17:59

In a bid to tackle malnutrition among children, the Department of Women and Child Development and Community Science Wing of the Horticulture College Vellanikkara, Thrissur under the Kerala Agricultural University have jointly come out with a nutrition bar.

Named ‘Thenamruth’, the nutrition bar is meant for children between the ages of three and six. 

The nutrition bar is made with 12 ingredients packed with nutrients like rice, corn, wheat, ragi, soya flour, Bengal gram, groundnut, sesame, jaggery and liquid glucose. The nutritional facts in a 100 gram bar are 439.65 calories, protein of 15.05 gram, fat content of 13.21 gram, iron content of 5.23 milligram and calcium of 238.71 milligram.

“Kerala has been able to considerably reduce the child and infant mortality rate. But children’s health can be protected, also by taking care of the malnutritioned children as well. We have to move ahead further. Malnutrition among children is found even while infant mortality rate is less,” Health Minister KK Shailaja said during the launch of the nutribar.

“It’s from food with multiple ingredients that children get nutrition. Hence the government has come out with the nutri bar which would give sufficient nutrition to children,” she said. The nutri bar is made as a part of the Women and Child Development Department’s Sambushta Keralam (nutrient rich Kerala) project.

Agricultural Minister VS Sunilkumar directed the Agricultural University to initiate the steps to market the nutri bar to make it available at shops.

“Out of around eight lakh children in the state in the age category of 3-6, around 2.71 lakh are malnutritioned.  Among this, 5,537 children are underweight,” Biju Prabhakar, Secretary of Women and Children Development department said.

As of now more than 1,15,000 nutri bars have been prepared for distribution among 5532 children in the 14 districts of Kerala at a cost of Rs 11.59 lakh.

A team headed by Horticulture College Associate Dean Dr C Narayanan, Community Department Head Dr Sharon CL and Dr Lakshmi PS developed the bar as well as its production guidelines. It has been produced with no added artificial colour, flavor or preservatives. It remains to be seen if children will eat the nutrition bar.  

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