Early childhood is the perfect time to teach the child good eating habits, especially in nurseries through their educators and the offered menu. these nurseries should therefore ensure that their menus are varied and balanced. this study aims to analyze nutritionally the menus offered to children, from one to three years old in Lebanese nurseries located in Metn. For this purpose, a survey was made including a demographic standardized questionnaire addressed to nurseries heads, with another nutritional standardized questionnaire addressed to nurseries teachers and a checklist also standardized to locate the current nutritional status of nurseries. Among fifty-three visited nurseries, a sampling of thirty menus acquired was used for this analysis and the results demonstrated the lack of conformity between the offered nutrient intakes and the recommended American corresponding reference. this non-compliance is due to an excess of 28.2% of recommended energy intake, 23.6% and 51% respectively of carbohydrates and proteins, whereas only fat intake appears consistent. the iron intake exceeded recommendations by 39.3%, while zinc exceeded by 65%; only vitamin A intake was 46.2% below the recommended intake. Nurseries educators’ nutritional knowledge was found to be insufficient. Accordingly, these results indicate the need to improve the quality and quantity of food provided to children in nurseries and the necessity for nurseries educators training and education in early childhood nutrition.
Keywords : child; nursery; menu; food intake; nutritional recommendations