CARE Connection: Menu Planning for Child Care

Lessons on menu planning including how to develop and use a cycle menu, how to link menu planning to grocery shopping and food purchasing, and how to create healthful, nutritious menus that meet USDA CACFP Meal Pattern requirements.

Menus for Child Care #1
Eight complete weekly menus meeting CACFP Meal Pattern requirements. 2008. ET76-08.
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Menus for Child Care #2
Four sets of four-week cycle menus for child care. 2009. ET76-09.
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Menus for Child Care #3
Two sets of four-week cycle menus for child care. 2010. ET-05
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Grab and Go Lesson - Step-by-Step Menu Planning
Published 2010.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Planning Cycle Menus for Child Care
Published 2010.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Planning Snacks
Published 2010.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Menu Planning Tips for Variety
Planning nutritious meals in child care. 2010.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Serve the Right Amount and Kind of Fat in Child Care Menus
Guidelines from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Reduce the Salt in Child Care Menus
Use the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to reduce added salt. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Reduce the Sugar in Child Care Menus
Use the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to reduce sugar. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Using CACFP Meal Patterns for Good Nutrition
Using Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Patterns and MyPlate for Preschoolers to plan healthy meals in child care. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Vary Meat and Meat Alternates for Good Nutrition
The role of the Meat/Meat Alternate component in planning nutritious, tasty meals.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Meat and Meat Alternate Recipe Ideas
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Grab and Go Lesson - New Ideas for Healthy Snacks
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Grab and Go Lesson - Vegetarian Diets for Young Children
Families choose vegetarian diets for their children for many reasons. With planning, a vegetarian diet can meet the nutrition needs of the growing child. Revised 2013.
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Grains and Breads
Whole and enriched grains provide fuel for learning and play. Make great grain choices.
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Menu Planning Checklist
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How to Plan Snacks for Balanced Nutrition - Form
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Menu Template
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Menu Planning for the Child and Adult Care Food Program Video - Flash Version
Video lesson on menu planning to serve appealing and nutritious meals that meet CACFP requirements. Includes cycle menus. RT 20 min. 24 sec. View online in streaming video. 2009.
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Menu Planning for the Child and Adult Care Food Program Video - Windows Media Video Version
Video lesson on menu planning to serve appealing and nutritious meals that meet CACFP requirements. Includes cycle menus. RT 20 min. 24 sec. Download this Windows Media Video (WMV) version to your computer. 2009.
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Menu Planning for the Child and Adult Care Food Program Video Lesson Plan - PDF Version
Use this lesson plan to accompany the video for training. 2010.
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Menu Planning for the Child and Adult Care Food Program Video Lesson Plan - Microsoft Word® Version
Use this lesson plan to accompany the video for training. 2010.
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Children’s Activity - Menu Planning with Children
Engaging young children in planning healthy, nutritious menus that they will enjoy.
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Children’s Activity - Let's Learn About Beans
Learn about beans by sorting, identifying, and growing them.
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Helping Children Be Good Eaters – Family Materials
Information to send home with families. Revised 2013.
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Families Matter
Information to send home with families.
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Plan Menus That Look and Taste Good to the Whole Family
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Planning Snacks for Your Family
Handout to send home with families.
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Meatless Family Meals
Family materials that offer recipes and menu planning ideas for healthy, tasty meatless meals.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Fat in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. MS Word format.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Fat in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. PDF format.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Salt in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. PDF format.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Salt in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. MS Word format.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Sugar in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. PDF format.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Sugar in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. MS Word format.
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Lesson Plan - Helping Families Make Healthy Changes for Themselves and Their Children
15 minute training. PDF format.
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Lesson Plan - Helping Families Make Healthy Changes for Themselves and Their Children
15 minute training. MS Word format.
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Lesson Plan - Step-By-Step Menu Planning
15 minute training. PDF format.
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Lesson Plan - Step-By-Step Menu Planning
15 minute training. MS Word format.
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Lesson Plan - Planning Cycle Menus for Child Care
15 minute training. PDF format.
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Lesson Plan - Planning Cycle Menus for Child Care
15 minute training. MS Word format.
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Lesson Plan - Planning Snacks
15 minute training. PDF format
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Lesson Plan - Planning Snacks
15 minute training. MS Word format
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Lesson Plan - Building variety into your menus with Meat and Meat Alternates
15 minute training. PDF format
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Lesson Plan - Building variety into your menus with Meat and Meat Alternates
15 minute training. MS Word format
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Lesson Plan - Planning Nutritious Meals That Look and Taste Good
15 minute training. PDF format
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Lesson Plan - Planning Nutritious Meals That Look and Taste Good
15 minute training. MS Word format
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