Five Daycare Food Menu Examples

Daycare workers wear many different hats. They are teachers, caregivers, custodians, coaches, and friends. A few other hats they must wear are overlooked fairly often. There are also cooks, servers, and most importantly, dieticians. A childcare provider can be responsible for serving two nutritious meals per day. How do they do it? 

Here are five daycare food menu ideas that will fuel a child with the nutrition they need to get through theirFive Daycare Food Menu Examples day:


  • Breakfast – Pancakes with sugar-free syrup, blueberries, and milk or 100% fruit juice 
  • Morning Snack – Apple slices, and bottled water 
  • Lunch – Spaghetti with meatballs, carrots and peas, sliced cantaloupe, and milk
  • Afternoon Snack – Cheese and crackers with sliced turkey 


  • Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, toast, strawberries, and milk or 100% fruit juice 
  • Morning Snack – Bananas and apple juice 
  • Lunch – Chicken nuggets, corn, and milk 
  • Afternoon Snack – Carrot slices, celery sticks, ranch dressing, and bottled water 


  • Breakfast – Whole wheat bagels with cream cheese, apple slices, and milk or 100%fruit juice 
  • Morning Snack – Trail mix and milk
  • Lunch – Turkey sandwich with chicken noodle soup, orange slices, and milk
  • Afternoon Snack – Vanilla yogurt with sliced peaches, and bottled water 


  • Breakfast – Oatmeal with blueberries, milk, or 100%fruit juice 
  • Morning Snack – Goldfish crackers and bottled water 
  • Lunch – Chicken nuggets, green beans, and milk
  • Afternoon Snack – sliced ham and cheese with saltine crackers and bottled water 


  • Breakfast – Cereal with milk, pears, and 100%fruit juice 
  • Morning Snack – Pineapple chunks and milk
  • Lunch – Pepperoni pizza, side salad with ranch dressing, and milk 
  • Afternoon Snack – Sliced watermelon and bottled water


Five Daycare Food Menu ExamplesWe are all familiar with the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, it is. Breakfast provides the energy that children need for a long day of learning and play. That is why I put the most carbohydrates in this meal. However, you do not want your children to get all of their energy from complex carbohydrates such as pancakes, bagels, toast, or other wheat or flour products. This is why I also include a serving of fruit in my menu plan because simple carbohydrates are broken down by the body much quicker and easier. This means that they provide better energy for your children.

Morning Snack 

Five Daycare Food Menu ExamplesAround mid-morning, you will find your students getting hungry. You are going to need to provide them a small snack that will get them through the morning until lunch. Your morning snack should be a small portion, and should usually be served around 10:00 a.m., a small serving of fruit, or a small serving of crackers will usually fill the children up enough to get them to lunch, and provide them with the energy boost that they need. You will also need to provide them with water, to make sure that they are getting enough hydration.


Five Daycare Food Menu ExamplesI am a firm believer that a child’s lunch should include protein and vegetables, as they are getting plenty of carbohydrates for energy in the morning. Lunch should give them the protein and necessary nutrients they need in their daily diet. The hardest aspect of planning a children’s lunch menu is finding a balance between something healthy, and something that the children will like to eat. As calcium is very important to the development of the bone structure of children, I believe that milk should be served daily with lunch. If a child is allergic to milk, you can provide bottled water or 100% fruit juice.

Learn what childcare provider duties are.

Afternoon Snack 

Five Daycare Food Menu ExamplesThere is a fine balance that must be found when providing an afternoon snack to your students. You are faced with the challenge of providing them with a snack that will tide them over until their evening meal, but you must make sure that you are not giving them something that will spoil their appetite for dinner. I have found that a small snack of sliced fruit or a small serving of crackers and cheese, with a protein on the side, is usually an effective means of satisfying a young child’s appetite, while not filling them up too much.


When a parent chooses your daycare center to care for their child, they are trusting you to make sure that their child gets nutritious meals and snacks that stimulate both their mind and their bodies. In daycare, there is a fine line between how to feed your children something that they like, and being cost-effective while doing so. These are just a few examples of inexpensive, yet nutritious meals that can satisfy a child’s appetite while providing food that they want to eat.

Related Questions 

What kind of kitchen equipment will I need in my daycare centers? Daycare centers do more than just entertain or occupied children. They are also faced with the task of feeding them nutritious meals and snacks to provide them with energy to get them through the day. In most daycare centers, you will find a refrigerator, for keeping food items fresh and cold. You will also find an oven with a stove stovetop will probably also find a microwave in most daycare centers.

What kind of license is in certifications do I need to run a daycare? Both in-home daycares, and traditional daycare centers, are required to have a small business license. This license is usually issued by a state child welfare or human services agency. In addition, your local municipal government may also require you to have an additional business license.


Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.

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