Tips for planning menus




  • Chapati’s should be made from whole-wheat flour (as this will increase the fiber content).
  • Polished rice is not as healthy as parboiled or unpolished rice.
  • Green and yellow vegetables are nutritious. All seasonal fruit should be offered. In recent years the emphasis is on the benefits of fruit and vegetables. Green leafy vegetables and fruits (preferably raw) should be included in daily meals.Everyday’s diet should contain at least one medium size fruit.
  • Milk offered two / three times a day is a good and convenient source of proteins.Whole milk (undiluted cow’s milk or buffalo’s milk with cream removed) is offered in the first two years. After 2 years, skimmed milk should be offered. Do not force milk to those who do not like milk. Milk can be offered in other forms like paneer, curd, chhenna, lassi and milk based desserts.
  • Egg can be served along with cereal or pulses to improve the quality of protein. Instead, one serving of poultry/fish can also be included in the diet.
  • Inclusion of salads or raita not only helps in meeting the vitamin requirements but also makes the food more appealing and nutritious (due to fiber content).
  • Usually the number of meals would be four but for very young children and diseased, number of meals can be more.
  • Ideally each meal should consist of all the five groups.
  • Make sure that enough protein containing foods are offered. (like pulses, gram, peas, beans, peanuts, eggs, and fish).Sprouted moong or gram is very nutritious.
  • Non-vegetarian foods are not at all necessary for adequate protein intake, and have no advantage over a balanced vegetarian diet. For non-vegetarians, intake of white meats (chicken, fish) is preferred over red meat.