Creating a Food Menu for Children Essay Example

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Menu Planning Template



Morning Tea

Formula or breast Milk/water

Formula or breast Milk/water

Formula or breast Milk/water

Formula or breast Milk/water

Formula or breast Milk/water

A quarter red meat, half a cup orange vegetables, and a cup half a cup of rice

A quarter of chicken, a half yellow vegetables and two slices of brown bread

A half of mashed vegetables, a quarter chicken breast, a quarter cup of yoghurt and pasta

Half a cup of beans, a quarter of green vegetables, and half a cup of rice

Three slices of brown bread with butter, dried apricot, a quarter of yoghurt

A quarter cup of diced fruits dipped in yoghurt

A quarter cup of diced cheese

A quarter cup of diced cooked vegetables

A half cup of yoghurt with malt loaf

A quarter of diced fruits dipped in fromage frais

Afternoon Tea






Baby lunch

A quarter cup of diced chicken, half a cup of green vegetables and a quarter a cup of rice and quarter a cup of fruits

Half a cup of green vegetables, a quarter of pasta , quarter a cup of lean meat

Half a cup of mashed potatoes, a quarter chicken breast with carrots/peas

Pasta in tomato sauce with carrot, a quarter cup of meat, a quarter green vegetable

A quarter diced poultry, a quarter cup of rice, a half cup of fruits

Modification or alternative for

Celiac disease (Toddler who have this disease should not eat food with gluten)

Should not be fed the sliced bread. Rice would be appropriate

Avoid malt loaf. Instead apple slices are appropriate

Should not be fed the sliced bread. Mashed potatoes would be appropriate

Lactose intolerant (The toddler should not be fed any milk or milk related products)

Avoid milk and yoghurt. Fresh homemade juice would be appropriate

Avoid milk and cheese, eggs are appropriate

Avoid milk and yoghurt. Fresh homemade juice would be appropriate

Avoid milk and yoghurt. Fresh homemade juice would be appropriate

Avoid milk and yoghurt. Fresh homemade juice would be appropriate

In Muslim faith (The toddler should not be fed pork or pork related products)

Instead of pork do chicken

Allergic to eggs (The toddler should not be fed eggs or food that contain eggs)

NB: The child may be fed with formula milk in case the mother is not there. In other cases the breast milk may be put into a baby bottle and warmed appropriately.

Develop a Menu

  1. There are some foods in the menu that reflect culturally diverse group of children. For instance, pasta, apricots are mostly associated with Americans. Vegetables may said to be associated with children from Muslim countries who do not take pork and to some extent pork. Making food appealing to the children is one of the most people things that encourage children to eat. Still, food that is appealing makes it easier not only for the kids to eat but also adults. As such, it is important that the parents focus on how to make food appealing to the children. It is sad to note that children may refuse to eat despite the fact that food in healthy and nutritious (Satter p. 12). One way of making food appealing is by putting smiley faces of pancakes or make out a piece of fruit. One may go ahead and spell their name by using celery sticks (Bee p. 43). The food may be made appealing by introducing the different types of food such as vegetables and fruits through drawing and coloring them beautifully.

  2. The idea of eating the food should be done slowly as the children taste the foods that they have just drawn. Another way to make the food appealing to the children is by allowing them to help in preparing the food. The child will be eager to taste what he or she has helped in preparing. In addition, it is advisable to start introducing healthy food and preparation earlier before they get attracted to sweets and sugary food. The parents are expected to set example in order to ensure that the food is appealing to the child. This is attributed to the fact that most children pick eating habits from the people who spend most of their time with them. As such, older people should speak positively towards healthy food.

  3. Meeting nutritional daily requirements of children is crucial. This is attributed to the fact that children are in the growing stages and therefore, they need food that will help them grow, build their body and protect them from diseases, which they are very vulnerable to. According to the dietary guidelines, children are expected to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, cereals; that is, pasta, noodles, rice and bread, protein including lean meat, poultry, pork, fish, cheese, yoghurts, milks or alternatives. In addition, it is recommended that care should be taken in order to ensure that there is a moderate intake of fat and saturated fats. Furthermore, from each serve, there is a particular number that should be taken to meet the nutrition requirement. In order to meet the daily nutritional requirement, it is important to consider foods that are soft and easily digestible. This is because the child is still to adjust to solid food. In addition, children receive one main meal that has the combination that is required for good health. Simply, put there is food from each basic food group. For instance, there is a fruit which is served each day, iron containing food; body building and energy giving foods are made available in each serve (Nutrition Australia p. 3).

  4. Apart from the menu, there are other programs that may be used to support children’s awareness and understanding of healthy eating. One of the programs may involve encouraging parents to be part of the decision making in the center in relation to eating healthy. Under this program the parents should be involved in selecting beverages and food for breakfast and lunches. It is highly likely that with this support from the parents, the children will be aware of the healthful eating. Still, under this program, parents may also be given opportunities to give feedback on the menu and meals program. Giving the parents an opportunity to do the above, it is highly likely that they will encourage their children in understanding the need of having healthful diets. Still, the educators may encourage parents to pack healthy snacks for their children (Council of Australia Government p. 5). This will prevent children from taking unhealthy snacks increasing their awareness of healthy food. Another program is by involving children in healthy eating campaigns in the communities. This may be successful if the children can volunteer in nutrition based organizations operating in the community. In this program, they are likely to pick health eating behavior. Another program that would ensure that the children are aware of eating healthy food is by creating consistent message through various channels such as the media, community, school and home, and other multiple sources including peer may assist in making the children adapt health eating behavior by prioritizing healthy food over unhealthy ones( Reed and McVeagah p. 34).

  5. It is important to note that there are meals that provide children an opportunity to be involved in the preparation even on self serving. For instance, the children can take milk using a feeding bottle. While using this, the child may only require to be assisted while feeding and not to be fed. Still, the children can use straw to drink yoghurt and fresh juice. They can be involved in the preparation vegetables and fruits through picking them from the garden, washing and drying them. In addition, they may get involved in arranging them on the table during meal time (O’Dea p. 21).

  6. There are various legislation / documents and organization standards that may be referred by the center while making the menu. As such, the center uses documents that have been recommended by the government together with other organizations that are specialized in children health in relation to food. One of the organization standards that the center would refer to is the Early Childhood Development Agency. This agency oversees the setting up of care centers offers guidelines of what is required. Another document that is suitable to be referred is the Child and Adult Care Food Program, a handbook for child care centers. The handbook provides information on children meals of various stages and how educators are expected to handle children meals. The National Quality Standards communicates the early childhood care that centers are supposed to follow while managing children in the centers. As such, it offers guideline to be followed by every care centers. Other documents that the center would refer in planning the menu include The Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia incorporating the Infant Feeding Guidelines for Health Workers (2003); it forms the basis of nutrition (Australian Government p.4).

  7. There are various ways through which parents may be educated in order to promote the importance of healthy eating. This is attributed by the fact that parents play a major role in supporting children healthy in relation to eating habits. The educators may introduce community based programs may use different approaches that will equip parents with the skills, attitude and knowledge necessary to have a healthful diet. In addition, the programs should collaborate with the local organizations if need rises to target particular population. Another way that the educators may educate parents is through involving them in school health programs and activities. It is obvious that this strategy significant given that the parents will indeed get more involved if the students and staff request. In relation to this, the centers (schools) may offer nutrition education to parents. The center may organize seminars whereby, they are educate on the importance of establish healthy eating among children. This seminar will equip the parents with attitude, knowledge and skills needed to make positive decision concerning healthful diets. Similarly involving them in nutrition education curriculum will indeed enhance eating habits and pattern of the child. In relation to this, the educator may involve parents through the children (Walker and Fisher p. 15). For instance the educators may send some education materials home with the children, request parents to join their children periodically to eat with the educators, invite parents for nutrition exhibition and health fairs in the center or school, and assign children with nutrition homework to do with their parents. Still, the educators may link the parents with qualified nutrition professionals who may assist in answering and providing appropriate answers to questions and issue regarding healthful diet. Indeed, this is significant in situations where a child has nutritional problems.

Checklist to ensure the menu complies with NQF standards & Health Department Guidelines

Criteria / Evidence Guide

Health Dept/ National Standards

A wide variety of nutritious foods.

Plenty of breads, cereals, vegetables, legumes and fruit.

Some fatty foods included especially those containing Omega-3 fatty acids.

Water used as a drink.

Low sugar foods.

Low salt foods.

Foods containing calcium (milk and milk products), small fish with bones eg sardines, tofu, greens (eg broccoli) and legumes.

Foods containing iron (red meats, fish, poultry, shellfish, eggs, legumes and dried fruits).


(R.D.I. = recommended daily intake)

(The amounts shown are total daily requirements.  You can choose one food for each section and provide that amount or smaller amounts of each food and provide variety)

BREADS and CEREALS — 3 serves 4 crackers 
1 cup pasta or
rice 3/4 cup or
cereals- 1cup or
Breads 2 slices or

VEGETABLES – use variety in colour for variety in vitamins 2 cups salad
Vegetables 1 cup or

FRUIT 1 cup canned fruit
Fruit 2 pieces or

DAIRY FOODSneed 3 serves a day to meet calcium requirements 1 cup custard
2 tubs yoghurt or
2 x 2 cm cubes cheese or
Milk 2 cups or

MEAT and MEAT SUBSTITUTES – 1 serve 2 eggs or 1 cup legumes
poultry, or
90g fish or 
Meat 90g or

Work Cited;

Australian Government, “Get up and Grow. Healthy eating and physical activity for early childhood, 2009

Bee, H “The Developing Child” NewYork: Allyn & Bacon, 2000. Print

Council of Australia Government, “National Quality Standard for Early Childhood Education and Care and School Age Care”, 2009

Nutrition Australia, Nutrition Fact Sheet.

O’Dea, Jenny, “Positive Food for Kids”, 2005. Print

Reed, Eve and McVeagah, Patricia, “Kids Food Health 2 – from toddler to preschool “, 2001. Print

Satter, Ellyn, “Child of Mine- Feeding with Love and Good Sense”, 2000. Print

Walker, J. and Fisher, G. “Food Secrets: Brisbane: The Australian Nutrition Foundation”, 1997. Print