A sample day care menu for breakfast that meets the U.S. Department of Agriculture Child and Adult Care Food Program meal pattern requirements children from 3 to 5 years old includes oatmeal, blueberries and milk. A grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup, applesauce and milk is an example of a lunch. A sample morning snack menu consists of graham crackers and apple juice; a sample afternoon snack includes a granola bar and yogurt.
The USDA publishes a child care meal pattern for day care programs to use in planning menus. The patterns list the food components that are required for each meal, along with a table that gives portion sizes for the age range of the child. Age ranges are 1 to 2 years, 3 to 5 years and 6 to12 years. There are four food components: milk, fruit or vegetable, grain or bread, and meat or meat alternative. Fruit juice is acceptable as a fruit or vegetable component. An example of a meat alternative is scrambled eggs.
Breakfast components include one milk, one fruit or vegetable, and one grain or bread. The pattern for a lunch is one milk, two fruits and/or vegetables, and one meat or meat alternative. A snack provides two of the four components. The menu guidelines, along with downloads of sample menus, can be found in the Child and Adult Care Food Program section of the USDA web site.