How Much in a Day at Your Child Care Facility?

How Much in a Day at your Childcare Facility?

The Child Care and Early Years Act nutrition regulations do not currently define the specific amount of food that a child should be offered during meals or snack times when attending a child care centre or home day care for six or more hours. Further guidance about specific serving size amounts and how many servings from each food group that should be offered per day is forthcoming. In the meantime, it is recommend you use the table below, as a general guide. This table provides an overview of serving size amounts, along with the equivalent amount in food guide servings according to Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. Let children decide how much of the food they will eat of the food your offer.

Amounts offered to
each child in attendance
for 6 hours or more
# of Canada’s Food Guide Servings
Vegetables & Fruit 2 – 2½ whole fruits or
250-300 mL (1-1¼ cup)
2 – 2½
Grain Products 1½ – 2½ slices or
175-450 mL (¾-1¾ cup)
1½ – 2½
Milk and Alternatives 250 – 375 mL
(1-1½ cup)
1 – 1½
Meat and Alternatives 60 – 90 grams
(2-3 oz)
1

How Much is a Meal?

For children over 2, Canada’s Food Guide recommends all meals include foods from all four food groups. Children between the ages of 1 and 2 years can follow this recommendation as well. When planning your meals for the day, ensure you include:

  • 2 servings* from vegetables and fruit (this can be divided into two ½ servings of different vegetables and fruit)
  • 1 serving* from grain products
  • 1 serving* from milk and alternatives
  • 1 serving* from meat and alternatives

For serving sizes, see table below:

Food Group Range of serving size
for children 1 – 6 years of age
Vegetables & Fruit ¼ – 1 whole fruit
60 – 125 mL (2 – 4 oz /  ¼ – ½ cup)
Grain Products ½ slice – 1 slice
50 – 125 mL (¼ – ½ cup)
Milk and Alternatives 125 – 175 mL
(4 – 6 oz / ½ – ¾ cup)
Meat and Alternatives 30 – 60 g
(1 – 2 oz)

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