Philippines: Tag-init/Tag-araw (Dry season) Preschool/Kindergarten Menu Ideas

Looking for menu planning inspiration? In this article, we’ll look at an extensive list of Preschool/Kindergarten menu ideas for Tag-init/Tag-araw (Dry season).

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Tag-init/Tag-araw (Dry season) Meal Plan Ideas for Preschool/Kindergarten in the Philippines

In the busy rooms of preschools, beyond the pastel-colored walls and amidst the laughter and playful chatters, there lies an aspect often overlooked, yet paramount to a child’s holistic development: meal planning. At this tender age, children are not just absorbing experiences, numbers and alphabets; they are forming habits, preferences, and relationships with food that will significantly impact their lifelong health and well-being. In these formative years, the significance of intentional, nutritious, and diverse meal planning cannot be overstated. By prioritizing this essential element, educators and caregivers are not merely feeding young bodies, but also nourishing young minds, fortifying their future and setting them on a path of wellness, discovery, and a positive relationship with food. Let’s look at some examples of healthy, cost-effective meals, using local seasonal ingredients, that you can put on the menu for children during Tag-init/Tag-araw (Dry season) in your Preschool/Kindergarten kitchen in the Philippines.

Tag-init/Tag-araw (Dry season) Menu Ideas

1. Tinolang Manok (Chicken Ginger Soup): A nutritious soup made with chicken, ginger, and local vegetables like malunggay leaves and green papaya. Served with steamed rice.

2. Sinigang na Bangus (Milkfish Sour Soup): A tangy soup made with fresh milkfish, tamarind, and a variety of local vegetables such as kangkong (water spinach) and radish. Served with steamed rice.

3. Adobong Sitaw at Baboy (Pork and String Beans Adobo): A classic Filipino dish made with tender pork, string beans, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. Served with steamed rice.

4. Ginisang Upo at Hipon (Sautéed Bottle Gourd with Shrimp): A flavorful stir-fry dish made with bottle gourd, shrimp, garlic, and onions. Served with steamed rice.

5. Pinakbet (Mixed Vegetable Stew): A colorful medley of local vegetables such as eggplant, bitter melon, okra, and squash, cooked in shrimp paste and coconut milk. Served with steamed rice.

6. Pancit Canton: A stir-fried noodle dish made with egg noodles, vegetables, and your choice of protein like chicken or shrimp. Packed with flavors and nutrients.

7. Ginisang Monggo (Mung Bean Soup): A hearty soup made with mung beans, pork, and various vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, and bitter melon. Served with steamed rice.

8. Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette): Grilled eggplant is mashed and mixed with beaten eggs, then fried until golden brown. A simple and nutritious dish served with steamed rice.

9. Chicken Arroz Caldo: A comforting rice porridge made with chicken, ginger, garlic, and topped with crispy fried garlic, spring onions, and a squeeze of calamansi. Perfect for breakfast or lunch.

10. Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw (Squash and String Beans in Coconut Milk): A creamy and flavorful dish made with squash, string beans, and coconut milk. Served with steamed rice.

11. Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice) with Tocino: Fragrant garlic fried rice served with sweet and savory tocino (cured pork) and a side of sliced tomatoes. A delicious and filling breakfast option.

12. Pininyahang Manok (Pineapple Chicken): Tender chicken pieces cooked in a creamy pineapple sauce with carrots and bell peppers. Served with steamed rice.

13. Ginisang Ampalaya at Itlog (Sautéed Bitter Melon with Egg): Bitter melon is stir-fried with scrambled eggs, garlic, and onions. A nutritious and budget-friendly dish served with steamed rice.

14. Lechon Kawali with Ensaladang Talong (Crispy Pork Belly with Grilled Eggplant Salad): Crispy pork belly is served with a side of grilled eggplant salad dressed with tomatoes, onions, and vinegar. A flavorful and satisfying meal.

15. Ginisang Sayote at Hipon (Sautéed Chayote with Shrimp): Chayote is stir-fried with shrimp, garlic, and onions, creating a light and tasty dish. Served with steamed rice.

These meals incorporate commonly-used, seasonal local ingredients in the Philippines during the dry season, providing a variety of flavors, textures, and nutrients suitable for 3-5 year-old children at kindergarten

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