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Menu Planning and Recipes

USDA Healthy Meals Menu Planning Tools

 USDA Menu Planning Toolkit includes nutrient analysis, meal buying guide, samples menus, and training for food service providers

CACFP Recipes

  • Child and Adult Care Food Program Recipes provided by USDA in both family size quantities and larger servings for centers.

USDA What’s Cooking?

  • The What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl is an interactive tool to help with healthy meal planning, cooking, and grocery shopping. The site features a searchable database of healthy recipes, options to build a cookbook, print recipe cards, and share recipes via social media.

Recipes for Healthy Kids: Cookbook for Child Care Centers

  • The recipes in this cookbook feature foods both children and adults should consume more of: dark green and orange vegetables, dry beans and peas, and whole grains. All of these healthy recipes are low in total fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium.

Recipes for Healthy Kids: Cookbook for Homes

  • This is the same set of recipes mentioned above but offered in smaller quantities for home settings.

Choose MyPlate Recipes, Cookbooks, and Menus

  • This site links to a variety of cookbooks and sample menus based off of the recommended daily calories. Printable infographics and strategies for shopping in season and reducing food waste are provided here also.

Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs

  • The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs has all of the current information in one manual to help provider and their purchasing agent 1) buy the right amount of food and the appropriate type of food for their program(s), and 2) determine the specific contribution each food makes toward the meal pattern requirements.

Healthy Meals Resource System

  • Healthy Meals is a website sponsored by USDA that offers links to menu planning, recipes, shopping lists, best practices for feeding, and tool and activities for children.