Panaji: Goa government will reportedly bring changes in the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) scheme to incorporate measures like improving the menu for better nutrition and participation of parents in monitoring the quality of food.

"We are introducing healthy eating habits for students by replacing bread with chapati. Fruit would be a part of the Mid-Day Meal menu for students once a week," a senior official of the Education Department said.

The scheme is benefiting over one lakh students in 1,500 schools in two districts of the state, the official said.

He said the state government is introducing new features in the scheme following a few incidents of food poisoning last year.

"Foods like flavoured milk, upama, idli are being introduced replacing sheera (sweet dish made up of rawa) for students," the official said.

Among other measures, the government has expanded the scheme to cover Class 9 and Class 10 students as well. Earlier, students up to Class 8 were only covered under the scheme.

The government will also grant power to the parent teachers' associations to monitor the food quality from this year onwards in addition to school managements, the official said.

He said a committee; comprising officials from the Department of Education and Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration has been constituted to inspect kitchens of self-help groups, where mid-day meal would be cooked henceforth.

(Agencies)

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