Healthy Early Years
Our Oral Health Commitment
The new Early Years Foundation Stage, September 2021, places more emphasis on settings taking responsibility for oral health, in partnership with parents.
Supervised Tooth Brushing
We will be undertaking a project called ‘Supervised Tooth Brushing’. The government has produced documentation for oral health in Early Years. You can read more about it in this link: COVID-19: guidance for supervised toothbrushing programmes in early years and school settings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
We will be carrying out supervised tooth brushing, once a day for all pre-schoolers. We have purchased each child their own child sized bamboo toothbrush and drawstring bag (to keep their toothbrush safe and hygienic on their peg in the main room, where their personal hand towel is situated).
We will be using the ‘dry method’ for tooth brushing (scrub and leave), as fluorite toothpaste is designed to be left on teeth, not rinsed. Supervised tooth brushing will take place, seated at a sanitised table. Children will be given appropriate amount and type of toothpaste for their age. Their toothpaste will be put on a paper towel in front of each child on the table, so they can put it on their own toothbrush. If they need to spit, they can do so on their paper towel, which will be disposed of appropriately by staff, before the table is sanitised when finished.
We will continue with our ‘Healthy Eating’ policy, which is now in its 11th year of commitment. Snacks will typically be a carbohydrate, as the main component. This will be such as cracker, rice cake, pasta, noodles, bread. This is low in sugar and salt and will give us energy. There will also be a selection of fruit and vegetables every snack time.
We will occasionally have a treat snack, for example, birthday cake.
From Autumn 2021, we slightly changed the way that we ask our families to support drinks. Children should come to pre-school with an empty drinks bottle, which they recognise and is named. When each child arrives they will wash their hands and then go to the drink bottle station in the main room and fill their bottle, with water from a jug. This will mean the children get to practice some self-care and physical development skills and they will get to see what goes into their bottle.
From Easter 2021, we requested that juice not be put in children’s all day drinking bottles. There will also be milk available to drink, through the day and at snack time, if required (and meets the child’s allergy or dietary requirements profile).
If families wish to provide a juice type drink to have with their main lunch meal, this can be put in the lunchbox crate.
Our packed lunch policy remains the same, as the previous 11 years. The main component of lunch should be a carbohydrate and should also include at least one portion of fruit or vegetable. Dairy and protein can be added, such as in the form of cheese, yogurt, seeds or hummus. We are a nut free setting.
Packed lunches can contain one high fat or sugar ‘treat’ item, such as crisps or a chocolate biscuit (not both).
We would recommend avoiding dried fruit items, such as raisins or fruit rolls, as these are concentrated sugar, cling to teeth and offer very little nutritional benefit. We also recommend checking the sugar content of items such as yogurt, as fromage frais and squeezy tube yogurts can contain up to five teaspoons of sugar in one serving. For guidance, 4g of sugar is the same as one teaspoon.
As part of our Healthy Early Years community we are happy to provide links to external websites, with information on the following: