An example menu of meals offered at child care centers include waffles and fruit for breakfast, cheese and crackers for a morning snack, a grilled cheese sandwich as the main course for lunch and apples and yogurt for an afternoon snack. Child care center menus vary for each age group.
Child care center breakfast menu suggestions include oatmeal, scrambled eggs, muffins, pigs in blankets and buttered toast. A child's breakfast should be coupled with fruits such as bananas, apples and oranges instead of fruit juices. Milk is typically offered to children.
Lunch menus for child care centers include a main course such as turkey sandwiches and healthy casseroles; a starch or soup such as bread sticks, tomato soup or pretzels; a vegetable such as steamed broccoli, roasted potatoes or green beans; and fruit.
Snacks are provided twice a day and can include a combination of foods such as yogurt, graham crackers, veggies and dip, fruit, and granola.
Each state has its own nutrition standards and guidelines that child care providers must adhere to. The United States Department of Agriculture provides multiple resources for care providers to ensure they meet state guidelines. "Building Blocks for Fun and Healthy Meals" is an example of one of the menu planning tools available on the USDA's website.