Currently, 13 states and three UTs include eggs in their midday meals as “extra food products” for a fee that is paid by the states/UTs. From five days a week to once a month, the frequency is possible. According to a study commissioned by the Karnataka government that involved more than 4,500 students in two districts, there is “clear evidence of significant improvement” in the growth of children who are served eggs as part of mid-day meals, with girls in Class 8 gaining up to 71 percent more weight than their peers who were not served eggs.
According to the study, the introduction of eggs and, to a lesser extent, bananas led to improvements in children’s Body Mass Index (BMI), which affected both boys and girls equally.It contradicts claims made by a different Karnataka government commission about the National Education Policy, 2020, that providing meat and eggs around lunchtime might lead to “lifestyle problems.” The government offered eggs (and bananas as an alternative) to students in the underdeveloped region of Yadgir as part of the three-month research on the effects of mid-day meals on children’s growth and nutrition, while pupils in Gadag received normal vegetarian lunches with milk. The findings highlight the need for extra protein and calories across all districts of Karnataka, particularly in the Kalyan region, the paper states, noting that there have been no prior research on the effects of mid-day meals or any other supplemental nutrition programme in India.