Proteins Hold Key to Healthy Babies

Prelims level : Science & Technology Mains level : GS-III Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
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Why in News?

  • Bengaluru researchers estimate nutritional requirement for pregnant women


  • A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that a diet with relatively more protein is needed during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy for the growth and development of the
  • To accurately estimate the daily protein requirement in pregnant Indian women, a whole- body potassium counting instrument was built at John’s Research Institute in Bengaluru, with financial support from the Centre’s Department of Biotechnology.

Month by month
  • For a gestational weight gain of 10 kg, pregnant Indian women should eat an additional
  • 6 grams and 17.6 grams of protein per day during the second (3 – 6 months) and third trimester (6-9 months) respectively, Extra food that a pregnant woman must eat should be high quality, in terms of its protein content such as milk and milk products, dals, rice and dal blends, eggs, fish and meat.
  • It is important to meet these additional protein requirements during pregnancy directly from the diet, rather than to use high protein supplements, except in special situations where the diet is not able to meet the requirements for protein,”
  • The Centre’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme provides supplementary nutrition services for children (6 months – 6 years) and pregnant and lactating
  • Rather than focussing on large amounts of cereals and calories, it is important to include combinations of high protein foods such as milk, dal and egg in the meals provided to the pregnant women.

The Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS)

  • The Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) Scheme providing for supplementary nutrition, immunization and pre-school education to the children is a popular flagship programme of the government. It is one of the world’s largest programs providing for an integrated package of services for the holistic development of the ICDS is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented by state governments and union territories.


  • Children in the age group of 0-6
  • years Pregnant women and
  • Lactating mothers

Services under ICDS

  • The ICDS Scheme offers a package of six services, viz.
  • Supplementary Nutrition, Pre-school non-formal education
  • Nutrition & health education, Immunization
  • Health check-up and Referral services
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