Menu Planning Tools for Child Care Providers

Building Blocks for Fun and Healthy Meals

USDA. FNS. Team Nutrition.

Manual with information on CACFP meal requirements and menu planning tips.

Menu Magic for Children - Menu Planning Guide for Child Care Homes

USDA. FNS. Team Nutrition.

Booklet with CACFP meal pattern requirements, shopping tips, recipes, and serving suggestions.

CACFP Menu Planning Guide (PDF | 1.54 MB)

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Meal planning guide for the CACFP, including information on the meal pattern, choking hazards and allergies, 16 weeks of menus, 120 CACFP-reimbursable recipes with nutritional information, and 8 shopping lists of items needed for every two-week menu cycle.

Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children: Provider Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program

USDA.FNS.Team Nutrition.

Child care providers can create healthier environments for the children in their care with this collection of tip sheets! Each tip sheet focuses on a specific topic and includes a practical application section to help providers apply the tips to their child care program. By using the tip sheets when planning meals and activities for children ages 2 through 5 years old, providers can incorporate key recommendations and best practices into their menus and daily schedules.

Leap of Taste: Child Care Nutrition Standards

West Virginia Department of Education Office of Child Nutrition.

Child care nutrition standards, divided into four key components: Beverages, Fruits and Vegetables, Grains and Bread, and Meat/Meat Alternates. Materials include food prep videos, administrative tools, menu planning, menus and recipes, and more.

Nutrition Policies and Guidance for the CACFP

Connecticut State Department of Education.

Set of 6 guides for CACP covering meal pattern requirements, crediting foods, infant feeding, special dietary needs, food safety, and planning healthy meals.

Healthy Bites: A Wisconsin Guide for Improving Childhood Nutrition

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

A guide for improving nutrition in the child care environment. Also available in Spanish (PDF | 20.29 MB).

The First Years in the First State Toolkit: Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity Quality in Delaware Child Care

Nemours Health and Prevention Services (NHPS) for the Delaware Department of Education.

A guide for child care providers to meet Delaware nutrition and physical activity requirements. Includes 16 weeks of approved menu cycles and recipes, shopping lists and tips, age-appropriate physical activities, and ideas for engaging children, staff, parents and the community.

Menus for Child Care (PDF | 816 KB)

Institute of Child Nutrition.

8 complete weekly menus, including breakfast, lunch or supper, and snack meeting the CACFP meal pattern requirements for 3-5 year-olds.

Reduce the Salt in Child Care Menus

Institute of Child Nutrition.

From the CARE Connection: Menu Planning for Child Care Lessons series. Intended for Child Care Providers, but some of the tips may also be helpful for School Food Service.

Eat Smart, Child Care

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Community Food and Nutrition Assistance.

Set of nutrition related recommendations and support materials for child care facilities.

CARE Connection: Menu Planning for Child Care

Institute of Child Nutrition.

Cycle menus and menu planning lessons for CACFP providers.

Mealtime Memo for Child Care

Institute of Child Nutrition.

Newsletter for child care providers. Several issues contain information about menu planning.

Iowa CACFP Healthier Menu Toolkit

Iowa Team Nutrition; 2012.

These materials are part of the Healthier Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Award in Iowa. Healthier CACFP is a recognition system that supports the wellness efforts of child care centers and homes participating in CACFP.