Go to top of page

Ordering takeaway



Suitable for children: 
Chinese takeaway box with chopsticks

Looking at a takeaway menu to choose what to eat is an activity that can involve the whole family. Talk about what you want to eat. Will all the family eat the same thing from the menu or will individuals be able to choose their own items from the list? Will the serves be large enough to share and if so how many people will each serve feed?

Talk about how the menu is organised and grouped. Smaller, entree or snack serves are usually placed at the beginning of the menu and the larger, main serves come after that. Serves that are extra to the meal such as salads, vegetables and rice usually come after the main meals and desserts or sweet food are listed last.

Some menus will have a price next to every item while other menus will place the cost of the item at the top of the grouping. If you add other ingredients to the serve such as some chicken with the rice will there be an additional charge?

Materials you will need

  • Takeaway menu

Why does this matter?

Reading the menu and ordering food from the menu helps children to develop an understanding that print holds meaning. The grouping together of items explains to us if the serve is large or small, if the serve can be shared or if it is an extra to complement the main meal. This is the beginning of understanding that some things can be shared and divided. Drawing attention to the cost of food helps children to understand that money helps us to make decisions on what we will buy and that adding items will increase the cost.

What does this lead to?

Ordering food from the menu helps children to develop concepts of print and an understanding of how writing is ordered and grouped on a page. This is the beginning of reading. Exploring the size of the serves and the cost of the meal is about measurement and understanding that we can describe different attributes of an object by size, cost and capacity. As you begin to talk about sharing serves or adding extras to items you are beginning to explore the process of addition and fractions.

Language to use

  • Entree, main, dessert  
  • Salad, vegetables, extras, bread, sauces
  • Small, medium, large
  • Single serve, serves two, individual, feeds a family of four
  • Share, not sharing, half each, some
  • Full-serve, half-serve, how many
  • Wait, delivery time, delay
  • Takeaway, Indian, Chinese, fish and chips, pizza

Questions to use

  • Do we need to ring and order or can we order online or go to the takeaway?
  • What do you feel like eating?
  • Will we all want to eat that?
  • How long will we have to wait for the food to be delivered?
  • Will that be enough food for all of us?

Useful tips

Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

Variation by age

Three to five year olds

  • Set up a clock and time how long the delivery takes.
  • Watch the delivery progress online with the delivery tracker.
  • Write a list of what you have ordered.
  • Use a calculator to add up the cost of the food.
  • Use an online map to work out where the shop is, estimating how long it will take for the delivery to arrive.
  • Make a list of the family’s favourite foods to eat, taking it in turn to choose from the list.

Questions to ask

  • Whose turn is it to choose what kind of takeaway we have this time?
  • How long do you think it will take?
  • What shall we do while we are waiting?