Preparing a menu in advance will help student nutrition program coordinators select healthy foods and budget for a student nutrition program. To prepare a menu use the following steps:

Use Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide  to identify foods, from three food groups that can be offered in a student nutrition program. Examples of foods offered in student nutrition programs are as follows:


Examples of Food Offered in Student Nutrition Programs

Vegetables and Fruit
apples, pears, oranges/clementines, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, bananas, etc.

Grain Products
whole grain or whole wheat bagels/English muffins/pitas/melba toast/crackers; granola bars, etc.

Milk and Alternative Products
milk, yogurt, cheese strings, yogurt tubes, etc. 


“Serve” and “Do Not Serve”

Foods offered in student nutrition programs fit into two categories “serve” and “do not serve”. Check the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Student Nutrition Program Nutrition Guidelines to see if the food that you are offering in your program fit into the “serve” column. For example, grain products should have “whole” grain listed as the first ingredient and contain no more than 8 grams of sugar for 30 gram serving.

For each day of the week, choose one food item from three food groups. For example, on Monday offer baby carrots, whole grain bagel and low fat marble cheese. On Tuesday, offer green apples, English muffins with one condiment (light cream cheese) and low fat yogurt.

To create variety, change the food selection weekly.

Tip: Be flexible with menu items. If the price of a menu item is higher than you normally pay, substitute it for a cheaper item. For example, if apples usually cost $1.49/lbs. and are listed at $1.79/lbs. and bananas cost $0.55/lbs., consider purchasing bananas.


Sample Menus for Student Nutrition Programs

Breakfast Menu

Snack Bin Menu

Morning Meal Menu Ideas

Blank Menu Form

For menu planning tips and assistance with reading food labels and budgeting, contact us.