Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has suggested that hot-cooked meals served at anganwadis should be replaced with nutrition packaged food on Tuesday during a conference on undernutrition.
The suggestion by the Women and Child Development minister came at the time when the Central government is in the final stage of preparing its nutrition guidelines.
"I want to bring about a complete change in supplementary nutrition. We should stop thinking of it as giving food. We should provide nutrition," she said.
The minister added that there is a need to give a minimum 1,000 calories to a pregnant woman and 600 to a baby.
She also explained that the pre-mix nutrition including energy-dense, micronutrient enriched paste or powder could be provided in a packets and delivered to a beneficiary through postman.
According to sources, the suggestion of providing ready-to-use foods by Gandhi has been rejected by the government committee assigned to prepare the nutrition guidelines.
The committee has also recommended ways to of improving quality hot-cooked meals at the anganwadi centres.
Earlier this month, the NITI Aayog had released the National Nutrition Strategy wherein it has questioned the efficacy of the take-home ration scheme and the quality of food supplements provided under the ICDS.
(With PTI inputs)