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The present investigation aimed to evaluate the index of nutritional quality (INQ) of foods served
to children (3-5years) in a private school under the care of nutritionist. Information about the foods
served was collected by personal visits to the school from the nutritionist. A detailed record of the
foods served on different days of the week was taken. Portion sizes given to each child were recorded
by weightment method. The nutrient energy ratio (INQ) relative to a standard was calculated for all
the foods served. It was observed that the children were being served supplementary foods following
cyclic menu that included poha, vegetable pulao, masoor pulao, rajma and idli-sambhar. Meal times
were found to be enjoyable by the children and they consumed the foods served to them without
any leftovers. This observation is in contrast to the monotonous foods served under government
scheme. The INQ for the protein, carbohydrate, fat, calcium and iron was calculated. An INQ of 1
and above indicates a good ratio of the nutrient to energy. It was observed that the INQ for protein
ranged between a minimum of 0.93 (poha) to a maximum of 3.83 (rajma) indicating that the foods
offered had a good index of protein. Similarly the INQ of fat ranged between a minimum of 1.8
(poha) to a maximum of 3.7 (sambhar).However the INQ for carbohydrate was found to be low
ranging between 0.44 (sambhar) to a maximum of 0.99 (idli). A high INQ value (4.1) was observed
for calcium in rajma while a low value (0.38) was observed in masoor pulao. Poha and vegetable
pulao showed INQ values which were more or less similar i.e. 0.76 and 0.72 respectively. The INQ
values for iron were found to be highest (6.2) in vegetable pulao and fairly good in poha and rajma,
i.e.1.3 and 1.4 respectively. The rest of the foods had INQ value below 1 for iron. Based on the INQ
values it was concluded that rajma was the best in terms of all the major nutrients and calcium and
iron, followed by vegetable pulao, poha, idli-sambhar and masoor pulao in that order.