Nutritional Guidance for Early Years: food choices for children aged 1-5 years in early education and childcare settings

Nutritional guidance for early education and childcare settings for children aged 1-5

Appendix 6 Putting it into practice

Menu planning checklist

Once you have planned your menu you may wish to use this checklist to ensure that you've covered the key points. The comprehensive menu planning guidance in section 2.3 provides more detail.

  • Fruit and/or vegetables will be offered at each lunch and tea.
  • Each meal (lunch and tea) will contain at least one food from the starchy food group (i.e. bread, rice, pasta, other cereals or potatoes).
  • Each meal (lunch and tea) will contain at least one of the following: meat, fish, eggs, pulses, seeds and nuts, cheese. A variety of these foods should be offered over a week.
  • High-fat, processed potato products (e.g. croquettes, waffles, smiley faces or other shaped products and chips) will be served no more than once in a full 5-day menu.
  • Milk, cheese or yogurt will be offered daily.
  • Puddings will be fruit- or milk-based and low in added sugar.
  • A mixture of hot and cold foods will be offered.
  • The only drinks offered at snack time will be milk or water.
  • Fruit juice and dried fruit will be offered at meal times only.
  • Snacks will be healthy, varied, and low in added sugars and should include fresh fruit or vegetables most of the time.
  • Meals and snacks will not include sweets, chocolate or fizzy drinks.
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