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Menu planning & supportive nutrition environments in child care settings

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Practical guide
Editor: Beben, A.
Publication Date: 
1 Dec 2017


The following documents highlight the important issues and best practices about nutrition and meal preparation for children. The documents are especially targeted towards child care providers. Recommendations are supported through the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 to meet the food consumption requirements.


This guide was created to help child care providers meet the food and drink requirements in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (section 42 of Ontario Regulation 137/15) for children one year of age or older. All meals, snacks and drinks offered must meet requirements set out in the following Health Canada documents:

• Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide

• Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide - First Nations, Inuit and Métis

• Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants

The information in this guide will help child care providers create supportive nutrition environments within their child care settings. The guide complements the Ministry of Education’s Child Care Centre Licensing Manual, Section 5: Nutrition.

This practical guide does not include all requirements related to nutrition, such as posting of menus and bagged lunches. Child care providers should refer to the Ministry of Education’s Child Care Centre Licensing Manual for additional requirements related to nutrition. This practical guide also does not address other legislative requirements that pertain to child care settings, such as the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, Smoke-Free Ontario Act or the Highway Traffic Act.

The scope of this guide does not include food safety or environmental health. Child care providers involved in any handling or serving of meals or snacks should complete the Safe Food Handler Certification every five years. For information on food safety requirements, child care providers should contact their local public health unit.

Other related links:

Child Care Resources- Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014

Menu and Nutrition Environment Self-Assessment Tool for Child Care Settings

Canada's Food Guide Revision Process for 2018 part 1 and 2019 part 2 version coming soon


Entered Date: 
16 May 2018
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