To meet the nutritional needs of the children in care, teachers must be prepared to plan healthy menus that children will enjoy and eat. The Nutrition Project will give you the opportunity to plan nutritious, healthy meals, share nutrition information with parents and reflect on the connection of meals in the childcare/preschool setting to the child’s attitudes, behaviors and belief about nutrition and the child’s health and health education.
This project will include:
Part One: Nutrition Newsletter Page for Parents
Nutrition education for children and their parents is one of the most powerful tools that teachers have to promote and protect the health and well-being of children. A page dedicated to nutrition in the weekly or monthly newsletter to parents, is an effective way to inform and educate parents about nutrition.
For Part OneYou will pretend you work at a preschool with a monthly newsletter to parents that devotes one page to nutrition educating parents on Nutrition and Healthy Eating for Preschoolers.
You will write and design the nutrition page for the first newsletter of the year with the topic of Healthy Eating for Preschoolers using the MyPlate system.
The design can be paragraphs with graphics, or, like a poster with graphics and bullet points. Be creative and make it appealing to read with graphics. (one page only)
It will be graded on demonstration of your knowledge of nutrition and healthy eating for Preschoolers and the MyPlate system, creativity, college level writing and completeness.
(To implement this at your preschool some topics could be: healthy snacks; how to read nutrition labels and shop for healthy foods; how to engage children in food production (such as gardening) and preparation (i.e. cooking) and serving (family style); recipes; food behaviors; introduction of new foods; food allergies; vegan diets; foods that should be eliminated or strictly limited from the diet and why; foods that should be plentiful in the diet and why; and many more…see text, Foundations, and Framework for ideas.)
Part Two: 3-Day Menu Plan
For Part Two create a 3-day menu that will include breakfast, morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack for ages 3-5 (CACFP) or 1400 calories (MyPlate) following the Dietary Guidelines, the directions for this project, and using the menu plan format included in these directions.
Established nutritional guidelines help teachers plan for adequate nutrition in menu selection. In planning your 3 daymenu follow the USDA Dietary Guidelines incorporatedin MyPlate and CACFP found in chapters 6 and 9 and on the MyPlate, CACFP and Dietary Guidelines websites.
These guidelines emphasize three main points in regards to menu planning:
– For daily serving size, for 3-year-old, click the “1400 calorie food plan”
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/preschoolers-meal-and-snack-patterns -for sample meal and snack ideas under the “1400 calorie food plan,”click “pattern A” and “pattern B” for sample meal and snack ideas.
For more resources see text, Weekly Folder and Resources and Links
The menu must include:
___Menu items for Breakfast, Morning Snack, Lunch, Afternoon Snack for 3 days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
___following the Dietary Guidelines of American, MyPlateand CACFP. See chapters 6 and 9, Chart 9-1 (CACFP), Chart 9-2 (sample menu) and the above websites.
___Serving sizes (ages 3-5 CACFP, or, 1400 caloriesMyPlate) for each menu item
___All whole grains (no refined grains)
___No processed foods
___Foods with NO added sugar
___Food with No added salt (low-sodium)
___No Trans Fats, and less than 10% (preferable none or close to none) saturated fats
___Culturally Diverse Foods, as well as regional food influences
___Vegan food options for one of the days of the week, Tuesday.
___Variety of foods and preparation methods
___Foods that have sensory appeal
___Foods that can be served Family-Style
Notes on Menu Plan:
Filling out the Menu Plan:
Examples: Egg Salad SandwichSpaghetti and Meatballs
1 slice of whole wheat bread 1 cup of cooked Brown Rice Pasta
1 hard boiled egg ½ cup of tomato sauce
½ large orange 1 once of lean ground turkey meatball
1 cup Milk
Grains – 3 ounces
Vegetables – 1 cup
Fruits – 1 ½ cups
Dairy – 1 ½ cups
Protein – 2ounces
See next page for 3-Day Menu Plan Format…
3 Day Menu Plan
Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Totals for each day
Part Three: Questions for Reflection
For Part Three:
1b) For just your menu:What was one way you engaged families with yourmenu plan?
2b)For just your menu:Does your menu plan allow for family-style eating such as having food choices that can be placed in common serving dishes that children can serve themselves and pass from child to child? If so, how? If not, how might you change your menu to allow for family style eating?
3b) For just your menu:How did you integrate cultural food practices in planning your menu?
Nutrition Foundations (at around 60 months):
2.1 Demonstrate greater understanding that eating a variety of food helps the body grow and be healthy, and chose from a greater variety of foods at
2.2 Indicate food preferences based on familial and cultural practices and on some knowledge of healthy choices.
Saving and submitting Nutrition Project
Page 1: Part One – Nutrition Newsletter Page/Poster for Parents
Page 2: Part Two – Menu Plan
Page 3 (and possible Page 4): Part Three: Questions for Reflection
See next page for 1400 Calorie Daily Food Plan…