Food Foundations

Meeting nutritional requirements when using external caterers

Food Foundations Sub Food Foundations News

Meeting Nutritional requirements in early years settings can be challenging.

For those settings who use an external caterer, it is sometimes easy to put the onus on the caterer to ensure nutritional requirements are met.  However it is important for settings to be aware of how the food they are purchasing is meeting the nutritional guidelines.

It is ideal if menus provided meet the current guidelines for children (being 50% of their daily requirements are met in care as seen in the table below).

Daily number of serves required in care

Food Group Serves required in care 50%*
Vegetables and Legumes 1 – 2 ½
Fruit ¼ – 1
Grain (Cereal) Foods 2
Lean Meat and Alternatives ½ – 1
Milk, Yoghurt, Cheese and/or alternatives ½ – 1

* 50% of daily nutritional requirements should be provided in care from morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.


If how the menu meets nutritional requirements it is not available to you, ask for evidence how the meals meet nutritional guidelines.  This might come in the form of some sample days of how the recipes of all foods offered meet requirements.