Image credit: UdyogYantra
Children need adequate nutrition to grow and thrive. Parents do the best job they can ensuring that their sons and daughters eat properly, but relative levels of wealth and environment can create disparities in children’s diets. Youngsters may eat too much or too little, both causing health problems.
According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close to 20 percent of children and adolescents in the US aged two to 19 years old–approximately 14.7 million individuals–are obese. Another portion of children struggle with food insecurity. The Food Research & Action Center found that in 2020, one in seven households with children could not afford to buy enough food for their families. Children skipped meals or did not get enough food.
In the US, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally-balanced meals to children either free or at a reduced cost. India has a similar free lunch program, the Mid-day Meal Scheme, a government school meal program. It feeds 120 million of the country’s poorest school children–and has helped boost school enrollment. In both countries, IoT technology is making it possible for K-12 schools to provide the right amount of food and nutrition to students on an individual basis.
Image credit: UdyogYantra
Calculating Nutritional Needs
UdyogYantra Technologies has developed a way to match a meal to each child’s unique nutritional needs using a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics. The solution developed by UdyogYantra, called Smart Food-QC School, includes technology that works with a device that weighs the school lunch and recognizes its nutritional components.
First, parents and legal guardians grant permission for their children to opt into the nutrition program that uses the UdyogYantra solution. At school, when the child inserts their lunch platter, the device automatically identifies the child using facial recognition, identifies each component of the meal through AI, and captures the nutritional value through image, weight, and temperature. Next, the device automatically checks on all parameters captured.
The entire digitized record of the child’s meal, health, and nutrition is available in the cloud through real-time technology. The meal can only be served after the device authenticates the child and ensures that the food types and quantities match the child.
The cloud-based analytics dashboard makes the data available for tracking purposes. Officials can review and monitor the quality and quantity of foods served across geographies and different schools.