Eating a healthy balanced meals 3 times is important no matter how old we are. But for growing children  it is quite essential so they may learn to carry this habit until adulthood. More so this may lead to better healthy lifestyle which will help them grow strong and develop actively. In a daycare setting as side from making sure the children are well taken cared of, creating childcare menu can come off as a challenging task. If you do not know where to start, then the best thing to do is to develop a daycare meal plan to get you right on track on the proper nutritional diet the kids need. Read more about daycare meal plan in our article below. To help you get started with your meal plan check out free daycare meal plan samples as you scroll down below.

3+ Daycare Meal Plan Samples

1. Daycare Meal Plan

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2. Daycare Child Meal Plan

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3. Adult Daycare Meal Plan

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4. Daycare Toddler Meal Plan

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What Is a Daycare Meal Plan Sample?

Kids are at the stage when their growing bodies need nutrients to grow strong and healthy and for proper brain development. And in a childcare setting, such as daycares it is important they are provided with enough safe and nutritious food to meet their individual energy and nutrient requirements. At most cases daycare should prepare at least 2-3 meals for the children. With the help you your daycare meal plan, you will be able to come up with the right menu that is not only healthy but food that the kids with will enjoy eating. But remember part of your daycare meal plan would need several other contributing factors that is needed when you start creating it.

How To Develop a Daycare Meal Plan Sample?

Daycare or sometimes referred as childcare centers provide regular full-time or part-time child care in a secure environment with quality caregiver. This can be located in an own facility, at home or in a relatives house. Since taking care of children requires also feeding them with meals, this is why proper daycare meal plans should be thought of carefully. In order for your to develop your meal plan as mentioned you will need to also consider the following factors:

  • Parents provide written feeding instructions for all children less than one year of age.
  • Parents provide written instructions for all children with special dietary needs. Food or drink provided by parents must be clearly labeled with the child’s name and the date the food was sent to the center or should be advised to the caregiver in-charge.
  • A list of children with food allergies and the specifics of the allergy be a big consideration as you start with your meal plan.

When preparing your meals for the daycare food menu, it’s best to try not to use processed foods. These foods are full of chemicals, preservatives, and extra sugar, salt, and fat. They do not promote good health in children or any of us for that matter. So to start here are the following tips that can help you develop an appropriate daycare meal plan:

I. Weekly Menu

Decide when do you want to change your menus since it would be best to change your menu every once in awhile rather than offering the same thing permanently. So determine how many weeks your cycle menu will be.

II. Deciding On The Menu

When deciding on the menu, remember to consider the factors indicated above which must be taken into consideration as you do not want to endanger any lives or cause any hassle to the kids or the parents for that matter. Special dietary considerations and allergies should always be taken into account when putting together your initial daycare menu ideas. Also read labels, do some research, think about what you are putting in children’s bodies. Remember to stick to what they like but make it as healthy as possible to encourage a good nutritional diet. It’s typically a good idea to adopt a “nut-free” policy when it comes to both your menu and your daycare center as a whole.

III. Size and Frequency Of The Meals

As mentioned meals may come twice but it may depend according to how many hours the children are in your care. You may even have the need to include snacks as well. Also remember to consider the ages of the kids in your care, the older they are the bigger the proportion they would need.

IV. Variety Of Meals

Although it would be quite costly to keep changing the menu, do try to offer variety in the meals provided. Incorporate foods that have a variety of textures, shapes and colors into your meal plan as they would love to see variant and new colors in their palette. For example, chop, cube, grate or mash vegetables or taco soup and roasted broccoli to encourage children to try a new food. This would encourage kids that is eating healthy is fun too.

V. Food Safety

Always do your research and make sure all the food ingredients are safe, government approved and healthy to serve. Ensuring the safety of the kids is a number one priority next to the meals you prepare. Additionally, you should consider choking hazards in all your daycare menu ideas. Properly chop or minced any large proportions and make sure they are properly watched while they eat.

FAQs

Why Is Meal Planning Important?

Overall meal planning has its own benefits such as receiving the proper nutritional diet, saves time and cost, and reduces the amount of food wasted.

What Is the Proper Dietary Meal Plan?

This should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Each day includes three meals and three snacks and has a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

What Are Daycares For?

These are institutions or centers that provides supervision by qualified caregivers and care of infants and young children during the daytime, particularly so that their parents can hold jobs.

Nutrition needs differ in children, depending on their age. Menu planning can help daycare facilities meet the nutrition needs of children of different ages. By striking a good balance between nutritious foods and the dietary needs of the children in your care, you can design a daycare meal plan that is delicious, creative and fun.

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