The Menu planning guidelines for long day care provide advice on what to include on, and what to leave off, a healthy menu for 1-5 year old children in care.
We developed these guidelines in 2012 to help Victorian long day care centers provide healthy foods and drinks in line with the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the National Quality Standard.
In May 2020, we added extra criteria to provide clear advice on using the following ingredients on long day care menus:
The updated menu planning guidelines for long day care are out now (18 May 2020), and will come into effect on FoodChecker from 15 June 2020.
The following criteria were added to the Menu planning guidelines for long day care:
The updated Menu planning guidelines for long day care are out now (Monday 18 May 2020), and will come into effect on FoodChecker from 15 June 2020.
FoodChecker has over 2000 individual ingredients, such as bread, milk, water, apples, bananas, etc.
Every ingredient is given its own equivalent of what ‘one serve’ equals per food group, according to the Menu planning guidelines for long day care.
We recently updated the serve sizes for approximately 250 (11%) of the ingredients in FoodChecker, to improve accuracy and consistency.
For example, the Menu planning guidelines for long day care say one serve of the ‘grains’ food group is 30g of dry pasta or ½ cup of cooked pasta.
There are more than 50 different pasta and pasta-like ingredients in FoodChecker (such as pasta, rice, oats, quinoa, cous cous, and noodles), and each one needs its own value for what ‘one serve’ of grains equals, when dry and when cooked, in cups and in grams.
The new menu planning criteria and the updates to the way FoodChecker counts some ingredients will come into effect from 15 June 2020.
If you reassess a previous long day care menu in FoodChecker after that date, you might notice some slight changes.
Also if you reassess a menu that contained any of the following ingredients, you will be advised to reduce or remove the ingredients, and your menu might not meet the guidelines:
You might also notice slight changes to the amount of serves on the menu per food group per day, as we have updated the way FoodChecker counts some ingredients. Read more.
You might not notice any changes in your FoodChecker report, but if you do, you might be advised to add a little bit more of some food groups, or you might have more than the minimum required amount for some food groups.
Menu assessments are considered valid for up to 12 months. For example, if you assessed a menu six months ago and it met the Menu planning guidelines for long day care, you can use that exact menu again within the next six months.
You can contact us email@example.com or 1300 22 52 88 if these timelines are difficult for you at the moment.
However, if you have made changes to a previous menu, or you want to plan a new menu, you should assess it on FoodChecker after 15 June 2020 to make sure it aligns with the updated menu planning guidelines.
The Achievement Program will accept a FoodChecker menu assessment report that says your menu meets the Menu planning guidelines for long day care if the report is less than 12 months old.
Smiles 4 Miles is a two year award program and only requires a FoodChecker menu assessment report to be submitted every two years (when you apply for your award). However you are encouraged to submit a report that is less than 12 months old.
To determine whether your centre provides a healthy menu that meets the National Quality Standard, Victoria’s Authorised Officers are advised to look for a FoodChecker report that states the menu meets the Menu planning guidelines for long day care.
The FoodChecker report you show them should: