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.


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.


Making It Balance and Kickin' It Up- A Cycle Menu for Montana Child Care

Montana Office of Public Instruction, Montana Team Nutrition.

Menus, recipes and resources to assist child care providers in serving easy, cost-effective and healthful 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).


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.


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.

This toolkit is a practical, “how-to” guide created to help child care providers follow Delaware CACFP/Delaware child care licensing nutrition and physical activity rules. The toolkit consists of two books, an Administrator’s Guide and Menu Planning Guide, and a handout, the Shopping Cheat Sheet.


Menus for Child Care (PDF | 816 KB)

National Food Service Management Institute.

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

National Food Service Management Institute.

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.


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.


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.


CARE Connection: Menu Planning for Child Care

National Food Service Management.

Cycle menus and menu planning lessons for CACFP providers.


Mealtime Memo for Child Care

National Food Service Management Institute.

Newsletter for child care providers. The following issues contain information about menu planning: