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National Nutrition Month: Benefits Of Eating Locally Produced Nutritious Foods At Complementary Feeding Stage

National Nutrition Month 2020 India: Locally grown foods are harvested when they are ripe which adds to its acceptability due to its flavour, taste, color and consistency. Thus, they are acceptable to children as complementary foods, says Dr Ketan Bharadva

National Nutrition Month: Benefits Of Eating Locally Produced Nutritious Foods At Complementary Feeding Stage

New Delhi: The very basic aims of complementary feeding are to provide balanced nutrition to ‘complement’ the breastfeeding in meeting the fast increasing growth and developmental requirements of otherwise healthy infants beyond 6 months age. It should be homemade, fresh, hygienic, clean, affordable, free from toxins, and locally available foods. All communities have their own staple diet available locally (e.g. wheat in north and rice in south India). To make them nutritionally balanced, a staple diet has to be enriched with food groups which can complement it by supplying the nutrients deficient in the staple diet. Hence, scientifically UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), WHO (World Health Organisation) and all IYCF (Infant & Young Child Feeding) organizations recommend daily consumption of foods from at least four or more foods groups amongst the seven groups that are:

1. Grains/millets and roots/tubers
2. Legumes and nuts
3. Vitamin-A rich fruits and vegetables
4. Other fruits and vegetables
5. Dairy Products
6. Eggs
7. Flesh foods (meat, fish, poultry and organ meats).

Locally grown or produced foods of different varieties can meet the diverse requirements.

National Nutrition Month: Benefits Of Eating Locally Produced Nutritious Foods At Complementary Feeding Stage

National Nutrition Month: The Seven essential food groups

Also Read: “Nutrition Is More Than Food, More Than Hunger,” UNICEF India’s Arjan De Wagt Talks About The Impact Of COVID-19 On Poshan Abhiyan 

It has been observed that when the cost of food increases, communities divert towards using lesser amounts of diverse varieties of food which is very important for balanced nutrition. Thus, they avoid micronutrient-rich and protein-rich foods. Locally produced foods affordable by the poor also; they can be procured fresh and prepared in recipes by households. Many locally grown foods are free products of backyard or kitchen gardens. Most of them are available immediately and are most often pesticide-free. That would ensure the continuous consumption of adequate amounts for a long time without taxing the pockets and health.

Fresh seasonal, locally available fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, micronutrients and antioxidants needed by the community in different seasons too. Locally grown foods are harvested when they are ripe which adds to its acceptability due to its flavor, taste, color and consistency. Thus, they are very acceptable to children as complementary foods.

Also Read: Poshan Month: Understanding Nutrition, What To Have And What To Avoid

Locally grown foods score very high over foods that not locally produced. Non-local foods are usually made available with preservatives in the form of frozen or packed foods. They are costlier also due to transportation, preservation and business margins. Preservatives and chemicals are very well known to be toxic or allergenic. Unfortunately, now-a-days children are highly exposed to non-local foods in form of junk foods most often available as packed foods and drinks full of salt, sugars and harmful fats. At the same time, they have very low fibers, proteins and other micronutrients. They are costly and have an addictive potential equivalent to that of cocaine. Ignorant parents misguided by false claims, advertisements portraying eminent people and other gimmicks, thus fall prey to feeding their children with such foods as complementary foods. They include biscuits and bakery products, health drinks, chips and wafers, fried salted packed foods, tea, coffee, chocolates, toffees, among others. In the long run, such foods cause malnutrition, obesity and secondary problems of heart, joints, diabetes, allergies, attention and learning problems and others. Thus, locally produced foods have numerous advantages as complementary foods.

Also Read: National Nutrition Week: What Is NOVA Classification Of Food And How It Can Help In Making An Informed Choice?

Consumption of locally grown foods by the community is beneficial to the local economy and environment also. People around have correct information on the growing and processing procedures and hence chances of better fidelity and related peace of mind. As an indirect benefit, locally grown foods improves community cohesion.

Hence, it is very important to highlight the consumption of locally grown nutritious foods along with nutrition education to tackle the long-standing problem of malnutrition in an effective and permanent way.

Also Read: “The Goal Of National Nutrition Week Is To Create A Healthy Nation,” Says Dr Harsh Vardhan As He Urges Everyone To Eat Right

National Nutrition Month: Benefits Of Eating Locally Produced Nutritious Foods At Complementary Feeding Stage

Dr. Ketan Bharadva


Dr Ketan Bharadva  is a President of the Infant Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Chapter of Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IA) and Human Milk Banking Association of India. He is also the author of Indian Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding; Human Milk Banking; Micronutrients for young children; Early Childhood Development.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene


Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 23,96,06,768 and 48,82,051 have died; 20,13,42,617 are active cases and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 4:15 am.


3,40,37,592 16,862Cases
3,33,82,100 19,391Recovered
4,51,814 379Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,37,592 confirmed cases including 4,51,814 deaths. The number of active cases is 2,03,678 and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

65,86,280 2,384

33,157 6

64,13,418 2,343

1,39,705 35


48,29,944 9,246

96,421 1,802

47,06,856 10,952

26,667 96


29,82,399 310

9,607 43

29,34,870 347

37,922 6

Tamil Nadu

26,83,396 1,259

15,451 199

26,32,092 1,438

35,853 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,59,122 540

6,588 27

20,38,248 557

14,286 10

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,008 12

135 4

16,86,976 16


West Bengal

15,79,012 530

7,576 81

15,52,491 601

18,945 10


14,39,311 28

337 1

14,13,885 29



10,33,809 521

4,890 38

10,20,645 477

8,274 6


10,05,614 16

203 4

9,91,841 20



9,54,382 8

42 6

9,45,386 2



8,26,244 34

215 20

8,15,943 14


Madhya Pradesh

7,92,669 12

111 1

7,82,035 11



7,71,035 16

105 158


10,049 174


7,26,016 8

42 6

7,16,313 2



6,68,618 168

4,171 40

6,60,512 207

3,935 1


6,05,847 207

3,646 157

5,96,263 362

5,938 2


6,01,971 33

234 11

5,85,199 16

16,538 6


3,48,406 11

130 4

3,43,141 7



3,43,729 28

175 22

3,36,157 6


Jammu And Kashmir

3,30,834 93

935 11

3,25,473 104


Himachal Pradesh

2,21,113 182

1,387 5

2,16,011 173

3,715 4


1,77,356 68

679 27

1,73,342 39

3,335 2


1,27,259 49

647 4

1,24,763 53



1,22,432 69

1,444 15

1,19,099 84



1,10,719 901

13,601 435

96,744 1,332

374 4


84,295 4

110 8

83,369 12



82,734 87

892 31

80,411 115

1,431 3


65,295 10

32 5

64,443 15


Arunachal Pradesh

54,958 4

202 22

54,476 26



31,722 6

224 1

31,108 7



31,516 9

230 8

30,613 17



20,867 6

44 2

20,615 4


Dadra And Nagar Haveli


3 1

10,668 1




2 0



Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,640 3

10 1

7,501 2


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