Major Activities in ICDS

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a) Provision of Supplementary Nutrition: The beneficiaries avail of supplementary nutrition provision for 300 days in a year. By providing supplementary nutrition, the Scheme attempts to bridge the calorie gap between the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and the Average Daily Intake (ADI) of children below six years and pregnant and lactating mothers. This pattern of feeding aims only at supplementing and not substituting for family food. It also provides an important contact opportunity, with pregnant women and mothers of infants and young children, to promote improved behavioural actions for care of pregnant women and young children. On an average, daily nutritional supplements are provided to the extent indicated below:

Age Group Calories (Kilocalories) Protein (g) Cost norms (Rs)
Existing Revised in Phases
Children (6-72 months) 500 12-15 4.00 6.00
Severely undernourished children (6-72 months) 800 20-25 6.00 9.00
Pregnant women and nursing mothers 600 18-20 5.00 7.00


Nutritional Norms of Supplementary Nutrition have been revised w.e.f 24.2.2009

Under the revised Nutritional and Feeding Norms for Supplementary Nutrition, State Governments/UTs are directed to provide more than one meal to the children, who come to AWCs which include providing a morning snack in the form of milk / banana / egg / seasonal fruits / micro-nutrient fortified food followed by a Hot cooked Meal. For children below 3 years of age and pregnant and lactating mothers, age appropriate Take Home Ration (THR) is to be provided.

Besides, for severely underweight children in the age group of 6 months to 6 years, States/UTs have been advised to give additional food items in the form of micronutrient fortified food and/or energy dense food as THR. These norms have also been endorsed by the Supreme Court in order dated 22nd April 2009.

b) Growth Monitoring and Promotion: All children are weighed by the Anganwadi worker. Children under three are weighed once a month and children in the 3-6 age group are weighed quarter1y. Weight-for-age growth charts and Mother and Child Protection Cards are maintained for all children below six years, as per WHO Child Growth Standards. These growth charts help to track the growth trajectory of children and identify those who are moderately and severely underweight. Care givers of those who are moderately underweight are provided counselling, while those who are severely underweight or sick are referred to health tunctlonar1es or facilities.

c) Nutrition and Health Education: lt aims to enhance the knowledge and capacities of mother and community and to look after the health and nutritional needs of children within the family environment and bring about a sustained improvement in maternal and child nutrition. Knowledge on basic health, nutrition, childcare and development is provided through group counselling and one to one counselling.

d) Pre-school Education / Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE): lt aims at providing sustained learning activities through joyful play-way method that helps to prepare the 3-6 years children for regular schooling and early care and stimulation for children below three years of age. In addition, there are event based activities organised for promotion of child development related matters.

e) Fixed Health and Nutrition Day: Popularly known as "Village Health Nutrition Days", it is organized once a month at the Anganwadi Centre. Health functionaries, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) visit the anganwadi centre on this day, a basket of services are provided on this day like immunization, micronutrient supplementation, Vitamin A & Folic Acid, deworming, registration of pregnant women, antenatal care, health check-up of sick and undernourished children etc. In addition counselling of pregnant women and care givers is conducted ANM and AWW.

f) Home Visit: Anganwadi worker visit the homes of children under three, pregnant and lactating mothers. Home based guidance is provided to mothers on infant and young child feeding; early childhood stimulation and care during illness. This is also an opportunity to follow up on children who have dropout from routine immunization and growth monitoring sessions.

g) Referral: Children who are sick or severely undernourished are referred by the Anganwadi worker to ANM or to health facilities.

The anganwadi worker assists and arranges these referrals.



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  • Indian Academny of Pediatrics
  • HealthPhone
  • Vodafone India
  • Ministry of Women and Child Development
  • UNICEF India

About IAP HealthPhone

An initiative of HealthPhone™, conducted under the aegis of Indian Academy of Pediatrics, in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, UNICEF, Aamir Khan and with support from Vodafone.

The objective of this nationwide campaign against malnutrition is to address issues of status of women, the care of pregnant mothers and children under two, breastfeeding and the importance of balanced nutrition and health. The focus is on women between 13 and 35 years of age and their family members.


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