Do your menus measure up?

Child Caring Online - information about the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Do your menus measure up?

When you plan your menus, are you taking the extra step beyond just making sure that all required food components are served? Good menu planning emphasizes foods that are appealing to children, include basic nutrients and teach healthful eating habits. Take a look at your menus for the next month and see how they measure up to the following criteria:

  • Do my menus provide variety in terms of color, texture, shape, temperature, flavors and method of preparation?

  • Are whole-grain brad and cereal products served often?

  • Are raw fruits and vegetables served often?

  • Is a good source of Vitamin C served daily?

  • Is a good source of Vitamin A served at least four times per week?

  • Is a good source of iron served daily?

  • Are most of the foods familiar to and enjoyed by most of the children?

  • Are there some new foods being introduced, or are familiar foods prepared in a different way?

  • Are high fat foods balanced with low fat foods?

  • Do snacks fill in nutritional gaps in the main meals?

  • Are cultural, ethnic and religious preferences considered in planning menus?

  • Are substitutions planned for children who have allergies?

  • Have holidays, birthdays, field trips and other special events been planned for?

  • Are expensive foods balanced with less expensive foods? 

Updated August 22, 2017 7:09pm