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Healthy eating and planning menus for children

Healthy Eating and Planning menus for children

[image: Image result for food pyramid ecce]

1. Outline issues to consider when planning healthy and varied meals and snacks for children aged 2-5 years – refer to best practice.

路 [bookmark: _Hlk2477261]Special diets- Some children may come from different ethnic background and so they may have religious beliefs which will vary their diet. Parents should always inform the childcare of any special diets their child may have. These considerations should always be taking into consideration when meal planning for children. Some children may also be vegan/vegetarian and so meals should be prepared separately for these children and following best practice guidelines all meals must be orientated around the child鈥檚 requirements. Health Promotion unit (2004).

路 Nutrition-Children鈥檚 nutrition plays a very important role in the child鈥檚 development and so must it must be carefully carted for. Children need:

-Protein for growth and repair e.g. Green leafy veg.

-Carbohydrates for heat and energy e.g. pasta.

-Fats for the protection of delicate organs e.g. read meat

-Vitamin A for healthy eyes e.g. carrots

-Vitamin B for the release energy from food e.g. fish

-Vitamin C for a healthy immune system e.g. oranges

-Vitamin D for healthy bones and teeth e.g. Milk Bord Bia. (2019)

路 Size portions- Food portions should not be over sized or under portioned. It is important that children get enough food to fuel them for the day but not too much food that it may result in the children getting a habit for over indulging which may lead to childhood obesity. It is important that the correct amount of each food is also given to the child to ensure they are getting the correct amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. Health Promotion unit (2004).

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路 Preference鈥檚- It is so important that the childcare assistants take children鈥檚 preferences into consideration. Some children may like sauce on side, dinners mashed or no sauce on their dinner. If children do not like the food, they should not be forced fed as this could cause issues for the children and may turn them off food completely. Chevron (2018)

路 Allergies

Some children can be allergic to different foods. A commonly known food allergy for children can be nuts in foods. It is important the parents Inform all staff within the childcare setting of any allergy鈥檚 children have so that they can cater for the children鈥檚 needs.

2. Outline Children鈥檚 food requirements in the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for preschools when children are attending:

a) Full Day Care Over 5 hours

When children are attending full day care (over 5 hours) they should have at least two meals and two snacks. One of these meals must be hot. This could breakdown to breakfast, snack, lunch and snack. If the child is attending the childcare facility all day to late that evening, they may also need to be provided with an evening meal.

[bookmark: _Hlk2474433]Breakfast- Cereal, chopped apple, freshly squeezed orange Juice

Snack- Cheese on crackers, glass of water

Lunch- Ham/cheese omelette (Hot), carrot sticks, glass of water

Snack- Organic strawberry yoghurt

b) Half Day Care up to 5 hours

When children are attending half day care (up to 5 hours) they should have two meals and one snack. These meals do not have to be hot but the must contain at least one food from each level of the food pyramid.

Breakfast- Scrambled eggs, brown toast polyunsaturated spread, glass of milk

Snack- Carrot/celery sticks and hummus dip, glass of water

Lunch- Tuna wholemeal warp with lettuce and chopped tomatoes, sliced strawberries, glass of water

c) Sessional Day Care up to 3.5 hours

When children are attending sessional day care (up to 3.5 hours) they should have one meal and one snack. This can be a morning snack and the lunch or breakfast and then a snack.

Snack- Chopped apple, orange, banana, grapes, pear and glass of water

Lunch- Salad sandwich (egg, ham, lettuce, tomato, cucumber) on brown bread, organic strawberry yoghurt, glass of milk

3. Develop daily menus for a full-time day-care service for children aged 2-5 years over a 5-day period?

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Breakfast

Breakfast Cereal

***

Wheaten bread/ Toast with polyunsaturated spread

***

Freshly squeezed orange juice

Morning Snack

Chopped strawberries, blueberries, orange and banana/Glass of water

[image: Image result for fish pie]Lunch

[image: Image result for strawberries]Ham and cheese omelette

***

Organic strawberry yoghurt

***

Glass of Water

Afternoon snack

Banana Muffin/Glass of milk

Dinner

Fish pie topped with sweet potato served with carrots and peas

***

Milky rice pudding

***

Glass of water

Evening Snack

Beans on toast/Glass of water

Breakfast

Breakfast Cereal

***

Fresh fruit salad (Melon, Apple, Banana, Orange and Grapes)

***

Freshly squeezed orange juice

Morning Snack

Cheese on crackers/Glass of water

[image: Image result for fruit crumble][image: Image result for pasta bolognese kids]Lunch

Beans on brown toast

***

Banana sliced

***

Glass of Water

Afternoon snack

Carrot Sticks/Glass of milk

Dinner

Pasta bolognaise with garlic bread

***

Fruit Crumble

***

Glass of water

Evening Snack

Sliced Pear/Glass of water

Breakfast

Breakfast Cereal

***

Scrambled eggs and Brown toast with polyunsaturated spread

***

Freshly squeezed orange juice

Morning Snack

Carrot and celery sticks with hummus/Glass of water

[image: Image result for beef casserole]Lunch

[image: Image result for stewed pears] Ham and cheese wrap

***

Organic Blueberry yoghurt

***

Glass of Water

Afternoon snack

Fruit Scone/Glass of Milk

Dinner

Beef Casserole with potatoes, carrots and broccoli

***

Stewed Pear

***

Glass of water

Evening Snack

French Toast/Glass of water

Breakfast

Porridge and chopped banana

***

Raisins

***

Freshly squeezed orange juice

Morning Snack

Fresh fruit salad (Grapes, Melon, Pear, Strawberries, Blueberries)

Lunch

[image: Image result for custard]Tune and sweetcorn sandwich on brown bread

[image: Image result for breast of chicken with peas]***

Organic strawberry yoghurt

***

Glass of Water

Afternoon snack

Cheese on crackers /Glass of Milk

Dinner

Breast of chicken, peas, carrots and potatoes

***

Warm custard on stewed apple

***

Glass of water

Evening Snack

Bowl of cereal/Glass of water

Breakfast

Scrambled eggs and brown toast with polyunsaturded spread

***

Chopped Grapes

***

Freshly squeezed orange juice

Morning Snack

Chopped pineapple and melon

Lunch

[image: Image result for jelly and ice cream][image: Image result for tuna pasta bake]Salad sandwich (Lettuce, tomato, egg, cheese and ham) on brown bread

***

Organic Blueberry Yoghurt

***

Glass of Water

Afternoon snack

Brown Rice Cakes and chopped apple chunk/ Glass of water

Dinner

Tuna Pasta Bake

***

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Jelly and Ice Cream

***

Glass of water

Evening Snack

Cheese on toast/Glass of Water

It is important to note that:

路 Cereals are without honey, sugar or chocolate to reduce hyper activity, tooth decay and saturated fat in the children鈥檚 diet.

路 Crackers are plain and do not have salt on top to prevent the risk of increasing blood pressure and high salt intake in the children鈥檚 diet.

路 All fruit is chopped small and very thin to prevent any child choking and following best practice guidelines.

路 Vegetarian options are available for all children and parents should inform childcare employees and management of any allergies or special food diets.

Health Service Executive (2004)

4.Recommend two healthy eating initiatives for best practice for schools bband preschool services to share with parents give a short description of each.

路 Smart Start

A programme devised to ensure children get the best start in life in regards to healthy food and nutrition. This programme involves training for staff members in 6 different modules e.g. well-being/Nutrition which will all them to incorporate different times within the curriculum to teach the children all about healthy eating and nutrition. It promotes healthy eating both at home and in school. This programme highlights and helps to implant the best practice guidelines of healthy eating in the ECCE setting. It was devised by the department of health promotion within the HSE. Chevron 2018

路 Little Bites

An online hub designed by Early Childhood Ireland together with Safefood for teachers and providers to access information when needed and could check up on different issues they may have in regard to allergies, nutrition, healthy eating etc. This programme was devised after a survey was completed by Early childhood Ireland in 2004 to see what it was that providers needed to ensure children received best food and nutrition when attending an ECCE setting. Chevron (2018)

Bibliography

[bookmark: _Hlk2478857]Bord Bia. (2019). Nutrition for one to fives. Available: https://www.bordbia.ie/consumer/aboutfood/nutrition/Pages/Nutritionfortwotofives.aspx. Last accessed 03/03/19.

Chevron Course Notes (2018)

Health Promotion unit (2004). Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Pre-School Services. Ireland: Health Promotion unit. 17.

[bookmark: _Hlk2476773]Health Promotion unit (2004). Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Pre-School Services. Ireland: Health Promotion unit. 21″,22.

[bookmark: _Hlk2439923]Health Service Executive (2004). 3 Week Menu Plan. Ireland: HSE. 9-11.

9 Daniel Freeman

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