In 2015, the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA) replaced the Day Nurseries Act. Regulation 137/15, specifically sections 42–44, of the CCEYA is intended to ensure that all children attending home and licensed child care centres are provided foods that are safe and nutritious, and meet current nutrition recommendations.
All meals, snacks and drinks served by child care providers must meet the recommendations set of “Eating Well with Canada’s Good Guide”, “Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide – First Nations, Inuit and Métis” or “Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants”.
- Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide and Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide – First Nations, Inuit and Métis applies for children ages 2 years and older.
- Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: Recommendations from Six to 24 Months states that from 1 year of age, children can begin to follow Canada’s Food Guide and have a pattern of regular meals and snacks. It also has specific recommendations for children younger than 2 years.
Planning Your Child Care Menu
The Menu Planning & Supportive Nutrition Environments in Child Care Settings – Practical Guide offers tips and tools on menu planning and creating a supportive nutrition environment. This guide is intended to help child care providers meet the food and drink requirements of the CCEYA. The Menu and Nutrition Environments Self-Assessment Tool helps to determine if the child care setting is achieving the recommendations of the Practical Guide, and identify areas for improvement.
For additional tips on menu planning, including vegetarian meals, adding more variety, grocery shopping, food allergies, and more sample menus, check out the Health Unit’s Fun with Food Child Care Nutrition Manual.
Paint Your Plate with Vegetables and Fruit: A Toolkit for Ontario Child Care Providers offers a suite of resources to help make it easier for young children to enjoy vegetables and fruit every day. Many children consume most of their food in a child care setting, making these settings the ideal place to promote vegetable and fruit intake.
NutriSTEP® is a nutrition screening tool for toddlers (18–35 months) and preschoolers (3–5 years). It’s a no-cost questionnaire that looks at children’s eating, physical activity and screen time habits to identify what is going well and what areas could be improved. NutriSTEP® offers resources and tools for the whole family on a variety of topics, including meal planning, cooking, healthy growth, feeding and mealtime challenges, grocery shopping, among others.