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A healthy menu
Weekly menus and recipes approved by Registered Dietitians at Ottawa Public Health.
The weekly menus are based on a full-day in child care and provide ¾ of Canada’s Food Guide portion recommendations for toddlers and preschoolers. These menus include kid-friendly recipes made with fresh and basic ingredients.
Post the weekly menu for parents to see what food will be served each day. Also, include the specific vegetables and fruit to be served each day, and identify any food safety and allergy concerns.
Most recipes serve 20 to 50 preschool children. Adjust the recipe servings for the number of children who attend your child care setting.
- Cookies and Crackers
- Muffins and Scones
- Vegetable and Fruit
Recipes for meat and vegetarian dishes, sandwiches and soups.
Please note: a vegetarian substitution (*) is included in some main meal meat recipes, or in the Vegetarian Substitutions section. You can substitute pork with chicken or beef in most recipes.
These small batch recipes for vegetarian substitutions serve 5 to 8 children. They look like meat-based main meals.
- Tofu and Eggs
Recipes for side dishes like pasta, rice, vegetables and more.
- Pasta and Couscous
- Rice and Grains
- Salads, Vegetables and Fruit
Basic recipes for everyday kitchen preparations
- Broth – Chicken
- Broth – Vegetable
- Cooking Legumes
- Eggs – Boiled
- Eggs - Fried
- Eggs – Scrambled
- Fruit – Fresh, Frozen, and Canned
Dips and sauces
Recipes for dips, sauces and salad dressings
- Dips and Sauces
- Salad Dressings
Healthy and fun recipes for special events and celebrations.
What to serve
Tools to help you make healthy choices when you prepare and serve food and drinks to children.
Remember, you are responsible for what healthy foods are offered at meal and snack times; when children eat, and where. Children choose which food to eat from food choices you provide, and they decide how much to eat or even if they eat at all.
- Healthy Food Choices (PDF)
Information on food and drink choices to be served ‘most often’, ‘sometimes’ and ‘least often’ from each food category.
- Guide to preschools portion sizes (PDF)
A guide to the usual portion sizes eaten by a preschooler at a meal or snack.
- Healthy Eating Plate for Preschool Children
A resource that shows you how to build a healthy plate for young children
- Healthy Eating Questions and Answers
Answers to common questions about healthy eating.
How to serve food safely
Learn about the health and safety of children under the age of six years, and Ottawa Public Health’s Certified Food Handler training.
Canada’s Food Guide
Learn more about the Canada’s Food Guide; what is a food guide serving and how to read a Nutrition Facts table.
BOKS Bits help young children learn about healthy eating throughout the child care daily routine. You can build these “bits” of information or quick activities into the children’s day.
- Boks Bits Activities (PDF)
Anytime activity ideas to help children learn and talk about healthy eating and healthy behaviours during transition time, circle time, snack or meal and play times.
- Boks Bits Lessons (PDF)
Activity ideas to help children learn about nutrition, making healthy food choices and healthy behaviours during classroom, circle time, craft time or play time.
- Boks Bits for Celebrations (PDF)
Activity ideas for special events, birthdays and seasonal or cultural celebrations.