Feeding a preschooler a variety of healthy meals isn’t always easy, so I decided to create some Preschool Picture Menu Cards that can be hung on our refrigerator. Incorporating food storage items into the menus was important for me, so I included several items we stock up on regularly. This was really a fun project! It should also help with my grocery shopping later. There were lots of smiles from my daughter with this project.
1. Find ideas for your child’s menus at school websites or ADayCare.com. Even though your child doesn’t know how much they eat, they need to be a part of the planning otherwise you will end up with foods that won’t be eaten.
2. Type your ideas on a spreadsheet or Word document. I created 10 breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. As you type the menus, space them so you can eventually cut them out into little cards. They will be hung on your refrigerator or a magnetic board. Mine look like little rectangles.
3. Hunt for pictures on the internet or from clipart picture software (I use Broderbund: The Print Shop Deluxe) that you can add to your menus. You could also take pictures with your own camera of your actual meals. Make your menu cards as visual as possible so your preschooler can see their choices. Ask them to tell you what they see in the picture so you know they understand.
4. Copy your menus on cardstock so they will be sturdy.
5. Cut each menu apart.
6. Laminate the individual cards, and cut them out again. This will keep safe from sticky hands.
7. Hole punch at the top so they can be hung on magnetic hooks (Target) on your refrigerator or a magnetic board. Or attach a small magnet on the back to hang them up. Each day let your child choose what they want for breakfast, lunch or snacks. Then move the eaten menu to the “discard” hook. If you don’t have an ingredient such as broccoli, substitute another food item from another menu card.
P.S. My preschooler called me a chef today. I told her, “Those people work in restaurants.” She said, “But you make food for our cousins. So you are a chef too.” I’m glad she thinks so. 🙂