Sample two-week menu for long day care
The following sample menus outline two-week meal plans that are based on the Menu planning guidelines for long day care. The meals featured in the sample menus (for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea) provide children in long day care who are over the age of one year with all the food they need to meet their nutrition needs.
The two-week menu cycle provides at least:
- 4 red meat meals
- 2 pork or poultry meals
- 2 fish meals
- 1 vegetarian meal
Each day, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provides each child with:
- 1 children’s serve of fruit1
- 1–1½ children’s serves of vegetables and legumes/beans2
- 1 children’s serve of lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes and nuts (if allowed)3
- 2 children’s serves of milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives4
- 2 children’s serves of grain (cereal) foods5
For information about children’s serving sizes, refer to Menu planning guidelines for long day care for information about children’s serving sizes.
The menu does not include any of the following discretionery foods or drinks:
- Chocolate, confectionery, jelly
- Sweet biscuits, high fat/salt savoury biscuits, chips
- Cream, ice cream
- Deep fried foods (e.g. hot chips) and pastry based foods (pies, sausage rolls and pasties)
- Most fast food and takeaway foods
- Some processed meats, (e.g. sausages, frankfurts/hot dogs, salami, strasbourg, devon, some commercial chicken nuggets and fish fingers)
- Soft drinks, fruit juice and fruit drinks, cordial, sports drinks, energy drinks, flavoured milk and flavoured mineral water
The menu is varied and considers special dietary needs
- Infants over the age of 6 months are provided with iron rich foods, and meals and snacks of progressing texture according to their age.
- Children with allergies are provided with appropriate substitutes of foods and drinks, in line with the Menu planning guidelines.
- The menu includes a variety of meals from different cultures and a variety of tastes, colours, textures and flavours.
- Main meals are not repeated in the two-week menu cycle and the main ingredient in a meal is not repeated on the same day each week.
Water is also available freely throughout the day
Additional important information
- This sample menu should be used as a guide. If you would like to adapt this sample menu for your service, please use the Menu planning guidelines to ensure you provide adequate serving sizes for each child.
- The recipes in the sample menu below that are in bold are available at Recipes.
1 One children’s serve of fruit is equal to half a serve in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
2 One children’s serve of vegetables and legumes/beans is equal to one serve in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
3 One children’s serve of lean meat, poultry, fish or alternatives is equal to half a serve in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
4 One children’s serve of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives is equal to just under half a serve in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
5 One children’s serve of grain (cereal) foods is equal to one serve in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.