Nutrition Guidelines for Child Care

Healthy eating in child care

Healthy eating is important for a child's physical and mental health. It is important for children to have a good start by offering healthy foods and a supportive environment.

Child care providers can help teach children about eating healthy foods and create healthy eating habits by providing:

  • Healthy and safe foods and drinks to children
  • Environments that support healthy food choices
  • Support for families in feeding children

What a child care provider can do

To help provide healthy foods and create a supportive environment you can:

  • Develop a food and nutrition policy
  • Plan menus to ensure that a variety of foods are offered
  • Let children decide which foods to eat and how much to eat
  • Create an environment that protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding for families and child care staff
  • Include food and nutrition themes in programming
  • Provide nutrition education training opportunities for staff
  • Provide information to families to help support healthy eating at home
  • Promote Nutri-eSTEP nutrition questionnaires for toddlers (18-35 months) and preschoolers (three to five years) to help parents learn about their child's eating habits

The Child Care Manual helps providers follow the Child Care and Early Years Act to provide healthy foods to infants and children in a supportive environment.

Additional resources

For a sample copy of the two forms listed below, email 

  • Infant Feeding Plan
  • Infant Feeding Record

Contact Us