Published: 2022-11-28

Tiffin habits of school children

Premlata Mital, Ribhu Hooja, Nupur Lauria


Background: The “mid-day meal scheme” is the popular name for the school meal program of India, through which meal is provided to school children studying in the government and government aided schools. In non-government schools, children carry tiffin’s from home. Often, due to lack of time and/or knowledge of the parents and students, the contents of the food are not as per a balanced diet. The objective of the study was to analyse and compare the tiffin habits of primary and senior school children.

Methods: This was a clinic-based study. Parents of 300 school going children were asked about tiffin habits of their children in a predesigned questionnaire. Data was analysed and conclusions drawn.

Results: Most children carried tiffin to school on the majority of days. There was no statistical difference between primary or older children in their tiffin contents. Very few primary school children had a say in the content of tiffin. The senior students spent money in canteen on more days per week, whereas most primary class students spent only once a week or for treats.

Conclusions: It is crucial for schools to establish food committees in school that suggests and   monitors tiffin policies and meal plans based on nutrition.


Healthy, Junk, Midday meal, Tiffin

Full Text:



Dighe J. Right to food of Children in India. Legal services Available at: Accessed on 25 August, 2022.

Mid-Day Meal Scheme Department of school Education and literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development. Available at: Accessed on 25 August, 2022.

Chutani AM. School lunch program in India: background, objectives and components. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2012;21(1):151-4.

Wikipedia contributors. School meal. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 2022. Available at: Accessed on 25 August, 2022.

Sharma MK. Healthy Tiffin for School Children All, Food and Nutrition. Available at: Accessed on 25 August, 2022.

Fruit for thought: Healthy eating is now a mandate in most Mumbai schools. Available at: html. Accessed on 25 August, 2022.

Government issues draft regulation to ban junk food near schools-11. Available at: https://www.hindustan fulgaxfNIsL.html?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ht_AMP. Accessed on 25 August, 2022.

Making Time for School Lunch CDC Healthy Schools, Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion CS 310518-A. 2019. Available at: Accessed on 11 September, 2022.

El-Rifai S. School Lunch Program in India Food Services Newsletter March/ April 2020. Available at:

National Scheme for PM POSHAN in School. Available at: policies-and-schemes/national-scheme-for-pm-poshan-in-school. Accessed on 25 August, 2022.