10 Factors Should Be Considered in Preparing Meal plans for Children in Orange County’s Daycare, 2022

Knowledge of menu planning for children in childcare is vital to ensure that young children at a daycare receive healthy meals. Staff in child care and preschools should be sensitive to dietary restrictions, such as vegetarianism, and cultural and religious norms about food selection, cooking, and serving. Sanitation procedures must be strictly adhered to prevent any harm to the kid’s health.

To avoid spreading diseases, correct procedures must be followed when storing, cooking, and serving food. Following are the 10 factors that strictly should be considered when preparing healthy meal plans in daycare:

1) Collaboratively Prepare Meals

Preschoolers may learn a lot about healthy eating and how to help prepare meals and snacks by observing you or pitching in to do simple tasks if they’re old enough. Get the kids involved in picking healthy snacks from the cupboards and refrigerators.

Meal plans for Children in Orange county's Daycare

2) Reduce your serving size

Children at preschool age need just a nibble. A basic rule of thumb is that a child should eat around one tablespoon of each item yearly. Small portions are the way to go if you’re attempting to get people to try different cuisines and textures.

3) Choose Healthy Recipe for children

If you want to prepare the meats and veggies healthily, try barbecuing, roasting, steaming, boiling, or heating instead of frying. Try to make a healthy meal plan in daycare with beneficial techniques.

4) Avoid Processed Foods & Go for Whole Grains

Increase the percentage of whole grains in children’s diet plan by making at least half of the grains. Serve foods made from whole grains such as toast, oats, rice, pita, tortillas, and so on.

Meal plans for Children in Orange county's Daycare

5) Expand the Vegetable Selection

Include a variety of vibrant vegetables in children’s daily menu meals. Vegetables like maize, peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms, and zucchini should be served with leafy greens like lettuce and cauliflower and brightly colored vegetables like carrots, root crops, and capsicum.

6) Keep Health and Safety in Mind

Maintaining a clean environment in which to dine is essential for good health, especially for children. Before and after handling food, all individuals need to wash their hands for safety precautions with clean water. To prevent food-borne illness, wash produce thoroughly before preparing it, and keep cutting boards and counters clean.

7) Offer Dishes with a Variety of Flavors

Kids might be more interested in eating by providing a variety of foods in different colors, aromas, and flavors. Offering various types of food helps children get all the nutrients they need. This provides the opportunity for them to try new foods and more foods. 

8) Offer in Multiple Preparations

It’s normal for kids to be picky eaters, especially when it comes to new foods. Offer a dish even if rejected, provide it in multiple preparations, or serve it with more well-known dishes.

9) Pay Attention to the Importance of Hydration As Part of Kid’s Meal Planning

At every meal and all other times, fresh water should be supplied as a complimentary drink. However, it has no nutrients; it is essential to your child’s health and makes up more than half of children’s body weight.

10) Prepare Meals with Lean Proteins

Select lean pieces of meat, chicken, and fish, along with high-protein meat substitutes such as chickpeas, pulses, and soybeans, in your diet. Use caution when purchasing nuts because some children have severe allergic reactions to peanuts and tree nuts.

Conclusion

Provide healthy snacks, but let the kids choose how much to consume. Don’t make kids eat against their will or limit what they can consume. They could eat more on other days. They could eat less on some days. The hunger levels of children might fluctuate.

The above parameters should be used as a starting point when developing a menu for a daycare menu plan. Keep the same schedule for meals and snacks every day, and the kid will learn to associate that time of day with being hungry. 

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References

https://socialsci.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Early_Childhood_Education/Book%3A_Health_Safety_and_Nutrition_(Paris)/Section_IV%3A_Nutrition/15%3A_Menu_Planning_and_Food_Safety

https://www.himama.com/blog/tips-for-planning-a-healthy-child-care-center-menu/

https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Childrens-Nutrition/Cooking-and-Meal-Planning/Sample-meal-plan-for-feeding-your-preschooler-(age

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