The Secret Ingredient To Easy Childcare Meal Plans

Let’s face it, meal planning is hard enough when it’s for your own family. But nothing compares to the often stressful job of creating childcare meal plans that adhere to CACFP (Child & Adult Care Food Program) guidelines and are easy to manage.

The good news is KidKare by Minute Menu can help. It’s an online tool that takes the time-consuming guesswork out of all your Food Program must-dos, including menu planning, scheduling, and reporting. Just log in with your phone, tablet or computer and everything you need is at your fingertips.

Example of the KidKare Daily Menu Template

1. Foolproof Childcare Meal Plan Templates

CACFP meal pattern requirements are often confusing, and when they change, you have to learn all about them and adapt the new requirements to your menus.

KidKare does all that for you. The included meal plan templates have the latest CACFP meal pattern requirements and recommended best practices already built into them. So when you go to create a new template or edit one you’ve already saved, the software will catch if you left out a component, for example,   if a food item like a vegetable has been left out of a meal that is required.

KidKare software provides meal plan templates for every meal, including breakfast, morning snacks, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, and evening snacks. You can also save, edit and schedule meal plans as you need, making cycle menus easy to create and repeat over weeks, months, and even years. Check your state agency that partners with the USDA for childcare meal plan samples.

2. Extensive Creditable-Only Food List

All KidKare meal plan templates are “plug and play,” meaning each blank in the templates has a dropdown list associated with it that contains a range of creditable food items you can plug into your menu. Even better, at the top of each dropdown list is a search box. When you start to type, for example an “A,” the list will bring up all the creditable foods that start with “A” to the top of the list for quick and easy access. No scrolling needed!

To help eliminate errors, the KidKare food list only includes CACFP creditable foods that qualify for reimbursement. The entire food list includes more than 350 items to choose from, including all varieties of fruits, breads, bread alternatives, vegetables, meats, and meat alternatives. KidKare also lets you add new foods to your list.

Once you’ve created a meal plan in KidKare, it’s just a matter of how you’ll prepare the food. Thankfully, you can find almost countless healthy and nutritious recipes online. A great place to start is the Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA.

Example of the KidKare Food List

3. Meal Plan Templates For Infants and Non-Infants

Meal requirements for infants and older children are very different. That’s why KidKare labels all meal plans you create as either infant or non-infant. And within the infant category, meal plans are further separated into two groups, infant 0-5 months and infants 6-11 months, to make your meal plans easier to manage.

Like all KidKare meal plan templates, the templates for infant menus follow the latest meal pattern requirements to ensure infants receive developmentally-appropriate foods that are reimbursable to you.

4. Centers get One-Click Meal Production Records and Other Reports

KidKare eliminates the paperwork and time involved in meal production records required by state agencies. With one click of your mouse or tap of your finger, KidKare uses your menu information and attendance records to automatically create a complete meal production record you can submit to your state agency.

You can also use your meal production record to gauge serving sizes of the foods on your menus and ensure children in your care receive adequate nutrition based on their age.

In addition to meal production records, KidKare lets you create other reports to help with meal planning. For example, the Weekly Quantities Required report can be used as your shopping list for the week, and the Monthly Menu Plan report can be printed and posted in your center to keep parents informed about the foods their children will be served.

5. Meal Planning in Spanish And On Your Mobile Phone

¿Prefieres el español? No problema. You can easily create meal plans in Spanish by changing the language of KidKare to Spanish whenever you want. And it’s just as easy to change back to English. All it takes is one-click on the home page.

KidKare also makes meal planning easy whenever you want, wherever you are. You can log in using your smartphone, tablet or computer. If a device let’s you get on the Internet, you can use the device to access KidKare any time day or night.

Childcare meal planning has never been easier! To learn more about KidKare for centers sign up for a free, 14-day trial here. Not a center provider? Check out KidKare Accounting for easy meal planning features.

Related Post


The secret behind great CACFP menus, according to our providers.

With the help of our providers, we've gathered a nice helping of advice and creative meal suggestions just for you.

Download our CACFP menus ebook!

Subscribe to our communications.

Join our email list today and stay in the loop with all the latest news and exciting developments.


Infant Feeding Report

Milk Audit Report

Claim Manual Report

Enroll & Edit Participants

Manually Enroll Participants

Import Rosters via Spreadsheet

Edit Participant Details


Add a Digital Signature for eForms

eForms Settings

Customize eForms Email Templates

Send Renewal Invitations via eForms

Send New Enrollments via eForms

Guardians View of an eForms Enrollment

View Status for Sponsors

View eForms Invitation Status Action Items

Approve & Renew Forms

Print Completed eForms

Set Up Your Account

Manage Client Information

Enroll Sites

Center Admin Permissions

Send Welcome Letter to Sites

Advance Claim Month

Add Additional Admin Users


Submit Claim Data to Sponsor


Substitute Milk & Child Milk Allergies

Milk Audit

Purchases and Write Offs

Milk Audit Reports


Adding Vendors

Quick Entry Receipt

Itemized Receipts

Record Attendance & Meal Counts

Daily Menu

Menu Production Records

Menu Templates

Grain Ounce Equivalents

Menu Calendar

Creating Infant Menus

Mark Infants as Fed

Record Attendance & Meal Counts

Meals & Attendance

Mark Infants as Fed

Detailed Meals & Attendance

Estimating Attendance

Enroll & Manage Children

Enroll a New Participant

Edit Child Information

Set Up Accounts

Site Details and Settings for Sponsored Centers

Creating Roles and Permissions

Creating Center Staff Logins

Staff Login


Substitute Milk and Child Milk Allergies

Milk Audit

Purchase & Write Offs


Claims Feature

Calculate Claims Button

Claims Errors

EOM Best Practices

State Upload File and Submitting to CNP

Mark Claim as Submitted


Manage and Verify Receipts

Manage Vendors


Adding Vendors

Quick Entry Receipt

Itemized Receipts

Plan & Record Menus​

Daily Menu

Menu Production Records

Menu Templates

Menu Calendar

Grain Ounce Equivalents

Creating Infant Menus

Record Attendance & Meal Counts

Basics Meal & Attendance

Detailed Meal & Attendance

Estimating Attendance

Enroll & Manage Children​

Enroll Participant

Edit Child Information

Set Up Your Site

KidKare introduction tour.

Staff login for the first time.

How to access your account

You can access your account by following the steps below:

1. Go to the KidKare website by clicking the link below 

2. Click on “I need a new Password” in the bottom right as shown in the image below.

3. Enter your email address into the email field and then click on “Send Me” 

  • Note: The email address will be the one the state has provided us. Please use the email address on record with your state. If you no longer have access to this email address please email 

 4. This should send an email to the email address entered from KidKare Enrollment Portal with a link to reset your password. Click on the blue link 

5. Enter your new password into the fields below and click “Go” 

6. Now you can go back to the login page and login with your email as the username and your new password! 

Discover KidKare

Be able to schedule your demo with our team by filling out the form.

Tax Tips in just a few clicks

Get access to our KidKare Accounting video tutorials by filling out the form.

Menus & Attendance

Menu Templates

Create Master Menus

Copy and Paste Menus

Assign Menus to Sites

Center Daily Menu

Center Menu Calendar

Center Daily Attendance


Milk Audit

Schedule your
KidKare demo today

Be able to schedule a demo by filling out the form.

Get Help

Free eBook:

Food Program Menus

Get our free ebook by subscribing to our monthly Newsletter, The Monthly Minute by KidKare.

Every month you will receive tips and tools to help you understand and master the Food Program.

We want to know you!

We understand that navigating the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) can be confusing and stressful. That's why we created our KidKare Newsletter.

We want to know you!

We understand that navigating the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) can be confusing and stressful. That's why we created our KidKare Newsletter.

Webinar Recordings

Getting Started, Rosters & Meal Counts





SFSP Admin Reports (Non-menu)

SFSP Sponsor Menu Reports

KidKare for Sites

Marking Meals & Attendance

Sponsor Attendance/Bulk Entry

Submit Claims to Sponsor

Menu Production Record

Satellite Form

SFSP Site Users and Permissions

KidKare for Admin Overview


Track Received Claims

Mark Centers Claim for Processing

Submit Claim to State

Advance Claim Month

State Claims List

Balance State Funds


Enter Receipts

Disbursement Journal & Status Report

Set Up Your Account

Create Master Menu

Copy & Paste Menus

Assign Menus to Locations

Setup Vendor with Menu Access

Set Up Your Account

Install Minute Menu CX
(Google Chrome)

Install Minute Menu CX

Manage Sponsor Information

Enroll Sites

Create Staff Logins

We want to know you!

We understand that navigating the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) can be confusing and stressful. That's why we created our KidKare Newsletter.

Get Trained


Activate Children

Track Received Claims

Process Claims/Reprocess Claims

Submit Claims to State

Upload to CNP

Advance Claim Month

List Claims

What if my site doesn’t send me their claim?

What if my site needs to make changes after they send their claim?

What if I need to make changes but I’ve already marked my claim as submitted?


Roster Upload Explanation


Roster Upload Explanation

Start your 30-day trial

KidKare Accounting is an all-in-one solution designed specifically for childcare providers, whether they participate in CACFP or not.

Start your free trial today by filling out the form below.

KidKare For Sponsors

Our CACFP sponsor software ensures compliance and maximizes CACFP reimbursements for your Sponsor organization and participants (sites and providers).

Watch our KidKare Food Program Software Demo

Be able to watch our demo by filling out the form.

Buy Now KidKare Food Program for Your Center

Ideal for single-location childcare centers participating in CACFP that submit their claims directly to their state.

Start your 14-day trial

KidKare Food Program software is ideal for single-location childcare centers participating in CACFP that submit their claims directly to their state.


List Claims & Track Received Claims

Submitting or Retrieving Claims from Sites

Submit Claims to State

Claims Training


Review OER for Sponsors

Reports in CX

Reports Training


Vendors & Receipts



School Calendar

Tools Menu

Get Your Site Setup

Access site admin login

Add site level permissions and users

It’s quick and easy to get started

Just enter your email address below and we’ll set up a free 30 day trial just for you.

We believe in the application so much, that we know you’ll love it.