Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Madhya Pradesh stands among the poorest states in terms of child nutrition. More than half the children in the state, an estimated 30 lakh, suffer from stunted growth.
Though the state has been showing progress in the last couple of years, it still suffers from malnutrition and hence, permanent damage to economic and societal growth. Stunting causes physical and neurocognitive damage that is most often irreversible. Stunted children have stunted bodies and brains and live stunted lives, hampering the development of entire societies.
Poshan Tracker of Stunted Growth in Children seen in MP
Month Percentage Children measured Children with stunted growth April 54% 2,267,884 1,224,657
May 53% 4,704,419 2,493,342
June 52% 6,210,161 3,229,284
July 51% 6,561,798 3,346,517
Aug 51% 6,588,231 3,359,998
Sept 45% 6,619,702 2,978,866
Oct 40% 6,627,974 2,651,190
State’s situation among the worst in India
According to UNICEF, In India, 35 per cent of children younger than five years of age are stunted, a manifestation of chronic undernutrition. Further, the reporting article states ‘Just four states - Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are home to more than 50 per cent of stunted children in India.`
Stunted growth's roots in anaemia
Anaemia is a major health problem in Madhya Pradesh, especially among women and children, as per National Family Health Survey (NFHS) – 5. The report added that nearly three-fourths (73%) of children aged 6-59 months are anaemic. “The overall prevalence of anaemia in children increased from 69 per cent in NFHS-4 to 73 per cent in NFHS-5,” it said. Further, anaemia is not limited to background as the report showed that anaemia among children is widespread in every group. “Over two-thirds (71%) of children in Madhya Pradesh are anaemic even if their mother has 12 or more years of schooling,” NFHS-5 report said.
Ayurposhan certified advice
One should have easy-to-digest, pleasant to mind and freshly cooked food.
One should consume food consisting of six rasa (tastes). Ayurveda mentions about 6 tastes i.e. Shad-rasa-yukta- aahar [Madhur (Sweet), Amla (Sour), Lavan (Salt), Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent).
Include/add spices like Jeera (cumin seeds), Dalchini (cinnamon), Sonth/adrak (dry/fresh ginger), Lashuna (garlic), Elaichi (cardamom), Rai (mustard), Ajwain (carom seeds), Haldi (turmeric), Kali Mirch (Black pepper) etc., as appropriate, in small quantity while preparing food. It will enhance flavour and aroma and also add therapeutic value to the meal. It will help to optimise digestion so that the body is able to absorb and assimilate the nutrients from the foods one eats. It further boosts natural immunity.