If you’ve ever wondered if your early childhood education and care service menu is nutritionally adequate, or worry about having your service’s menu checked by others for accreditation, then worry no more.
12-step tutorial video
We’ve made it easy for you with our 12-step menu assessment video. In 10 minutes you’ll learn how to tell if your menu complies with the nutrition checklist found in NSW Health’s Caring for Children: Birth to 5 years – giving you peace of mind that children are getting the required 50% of their everyday nutritional needs while in your care.
The video provides a helpful tutorial not just for cooks, but all educators wanting to provide the best nutrition for the children at their centre. Additionally, if you’re a health promotion officer wishing to assess the menu of an early childhood service you work with, you’ll be able to use the video to help guide you through the process and award it a star rating.
By the end of the video, you’ll know what it takes for a menu to achieve a 4.5 or 5-star rating and thereby comply with the nutrition checklist found in Caring for Children.
What you’ll need
The video uses a case study to walk you through the process. You can download the case study sample menu and sample menu information sheet here to follow during the video. Together, we’ll check whether the menu provides enough iron, fruit and vegetables, breads and cereals, dairy and protein foods.
To review your own service’s menu, you’ll need a copy of the two-week menu cycle planning tool, found on page 93 in Caring for Children. Either photocopy the planning tool from your book, or simply download the planning tool and print it off. In order to make your service’s menu assessment easier and more accurate, you should also complete your own menu information cover sheet*. Now you’re ready to watch the video and follow the 12 easy steps.
*The menu information cover sheet provides important information that doesn’t normally appear on the menu itself, such as the quantities of the various food groups purchased each week, and types of flour and crackers being used.
Watch the video
Watch the video, How to access the nutritional value of a childcare menu in 12 easy steps, below.
Please note, while we encourage ECEC services to assess their own menu, on the Central Coast we also welcome services to send their menu and menu information cover sheet to the Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) Nutrition Services team for review. Completing your own review is a great exercise in developing an understanding of how to plan a healthy menu. We are here to assist you though, and also want to recognise services with menus that do comply with the nutrition checklist found in Caring for Children.
If you would like CCLHD Nutrition Services to review your menu, please send your menu and menu information cover sheet to [email protected]