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Updated 29 August 2016

Menus for preschool kids

Mothers often find it difficult to translate lists of portions sizes and food groups into actual menus. DietDoc gives examples of menus for preschool children (aged 4-6 years).

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Mothers and caregivers often find it difficult to translate lists of portions sizes and food groups into actual menus. DietDoc gives some examples of menus for preschool children (aged 4-6 years).

Typical menu for this age group
Breakfast
60 ml fruit juice
½ cup of oats porridge or one cup of ready-to-eat cereal with one teaspoon of honey
½ cup of full cream milk or yoghurt

Mid-morning snack
¼ cup of yoghurt or milk
½ mashed, ripe banana

Lunch
1 boiled egg 1 slice of wholewheat bread with one teaspoon of polyunsaturated margarine
A few carrot pieces
½ grated apple
½ cup of full cream milk or yoghurt

Mid-afternoon snack
1 slice wholewheat bread with one teaspoon of polyunsaturated margarine
1 tablespoon of spread (marmite or jam)
60 ml fruit juice

Supper
30-40 g cooked, mince meat
Mashed potato (three to four tablespoons)
Cooked butternut (three to four tablespoons)
Fresh fruit
¼ cup of custard

Bed-time snack
¼ cup of full cream milk with Ovaltine

Menu examples

 Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
BreakfastApricot juice - 60 ml
Oats porridge - 1/2 cup
Honey - 1 teaspoon
Milk - 1/2 cup
Orange juice - 60 ml
Cornflakes - 1 cup
Brown sugar - 1 teaspoon
Milk - 1/2 cup
Banana - 1/2, mashed
Egg - 1, poached
Toast - 1 slice
Margarine - 1 teaspoon
Milk - 1/2 cup
Apple - 1/2, grated
Creamy meal - 1/2 cup
Honey - 1 teaspoon
Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Mid-morning snackYoghurt - 1/4 cup
Banana - 1 mashed, ripe
Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Oats cookies - 2
Peach - 1
Cheese - 15 g
Apple juice - 60 ml
Milk - 1/2 cup
Dried fruit - 2 tablespoons
LunchEgg - 1, boiled
Bread - 1 slice
Margarine - 1 teaspoon
Apple - 1/2, grated
Milk - 1/2 cup
Peanut butter - 2 teaspoons
Bread - 1 slice
Margarine - 1 teaspoon
Canned peach - 1
Milk - 1/2 cup
Baked beans - 60-75 g
Bread - 1 slice
Margarine - 1 teaspoon
Sweetcorn - canned, 3 tablespoons
Yoghurt - 1/4 cup
Fish finger - 1-2
Mashed potato - 3-4 tablespoons
Canned pear - 1
Custard - 1/4 cup
Mid-afternoon snackBread - 1 slice
Margarine - 1 teaspoon
Marmite - 1 teaspoon
Pear juice - 60 ml
Provitas - 1-2
Margarine - 1 teaspoon
Honey - 1 teaspoon
Canned apricot - 60 g
Bread - 1 slice
Margarine - 1 teaspoon
Jam - 1 tablespoon
Mixed juice - 60 ml
Peanut butter - 2 teaspoons
Crackers - 2-3
Cranberry juice - 60 ml
SupperMeat - 30-50 g, cooked, mince
Potato - mashed, 3-4 tablespoons
Butternut, cooked, 3 tablespoons
Custard - 1/4 cup
Fish cake - 30 g
Pumpkin - 3-4 tablespoons
Tomato - 4 slices
Milk pudding - 1/4 cup
Meat - 30 g, cooked
Carrots - cooked, 3-4 tablespoons
Naartjie - 1
Jelly - 1/4 cup
Custard - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1, scrambled
Bread - 1 slice
Margarine - 1 teaspoons
Banana - 1
Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Bedtime snackMilk - 1/4 cup with OvaltineMilk - 1/4 cup with honeyMilk - 1/4 cup with HorlicksMilk - 1/4 cup with Milo

Notes:
These menus are only examples and need to be varied according to season. Preschool children are not yet as sophisticated as older children. This means that the menus for four days can be repeated.
Bread - use wholewheat, brown or vitamin- and mineral-fortified bread
Margarine - use polyunsaturated, soft or tub margarine
Milk - use full cream milk or low-fat milk if there is a history of heart disease in the family
Fruit - use canned, cooked, raw or dried fruit cut into pieces to make handling easier
Vegetables - use cooked or raw vegetables cut into pieces - try out new vegetables such as cooked broccoli and spinach, but don’t be discouraged if your youngster refuses these vegetables the first few times. It takes time and a more developed palate to enjoy the flavours of most vegetables.
Portion sizes - don’t be tempted to give your child large portions, this only leads to overeating, refusal to eat at the next meal and generally creates mealtime trauma, which should be avoided at all costs.

Remember never to judge your preschool child’s appetite and food intake by adult standards. On average your preschool child is five times younger and smaller than you are, so she will require a lot less food than you do. Small, frequent meals with small, easy-to-eat portions is the secret to a happy, healthy child. – (Dr I.V. van Heerden, DietDoc)

Any questions? Ask DietDoc

 
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