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Udzorong Central School serving ‘Kidney Bean’ porridge

By Phurpa Wangmo

Udzorong Central School (UCS) in Trashigang is serving โ€˜Kidney Beanโ€™ porridge to students for the first time from the beginning of this month.
This is in effort with ministryโ€™s goal of diversifying school menu to provide nutrition rich foods in schools across the country.
The Vice Principal (VP) of the school, Norbu said: โ€œWe started giving kidney bean porridge since we found that it is high in protein. We serve them as both dhal and porridge.โ€
Kidney bean is one of the main cash crops of Udzorong village and school authorities are paying Nu 60 per kilogram.
โ€œIt can be substituted for meat,โ€ the VP added.
There is a โ€˜nutrition movementโ€™ in almost all the schools after they were made aware of the importance of giving nutritious foods to the students. Initially, school feeding was to ensure a meal for a student to keep them free from hunger and nutritional value was not given much importance.
Tashi Wangchuk, the mess in-charge of UCS said: โ€œAfter attending the workshop on โ€˜Nutrition and Cognitive Developmentโ€™ organized by the School Health and Nutrition Division, our school was determined to make a change in the school menu.โ€
โ€œNutrition plays an important role in childโ€™s overall development. Since kidney beans are good source of proteins and vitamins, we decided to include it in our school menu. We started serving it with rice,โ€ he added.
However, the porridge was started much later, when people started commenting in the schoolโ€™s facebook page to serve it as porridge.
โ€œToday we are serving it with rice twice a week and as porridge twice a month,โ€ Tashi said.
He said that students are enjoying the menu at the moment. โ€œBut if the diet gets monotonous, they will reject it, no matter how nutritious it is.โ€
However, Tashi said that depending on what is available locally, they will change their menu.
Meanwhile, though the kidney bean is grown in abundance in the village, school authority is farther encouraging the farmers to grow more so that it benefits both sides.
Kidney beans are an excellent source of molybdenum. They are a very good source of folate, dietary fibre and copper. Kidney beans are a good source of manganese, phosphorus, protein, vitamin B1, iron, potassium and magnesium.
Udzorong Central School is a tenth grade school with 603 students and 29 teaching staffs.

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