Healthy Active Little Ones
At Newick Preschool we follow the HALO ethos. This means that we:
Reflect upon our practice in a range of health and wellbeing areas.
Celebrate and strengthen what we already do.
Identify (and action) areas for further development.
We access training on a range of health and wellbeing topics; in-house training and practical support (such as modelling or menu planning); downloadable resources.
As a setting we are also working towards the HALO Award / HALO Excellence Award.
Why is healthy eating important in Early Years?
Good nutrition is essential during childhood, as it is a time of rapid growth, development and activity. This is also a vital time for healthy tooth development and prevention of decay. General eating habits and patterns are formed in the first few years of life.
The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.
You do not need to achieve this balance with every meal, but try to get the balance right over a day or even a week.
Children under the Age of 2 Years
The Eatwell Guide does not apply to children under the age of 2 because they have different nutritional needs.
Between the ages of 2 and 5, children should gradually move to eating the same foods as the rest of the family in the proportions shown in the Eatwell Guide.
Here at Newick Preschool we are always trying to promote healthy eating during our snack times and lunch times. We would like parents to work with us in making sure each child has the healthiest lunch they possible can. Below is what we would expect a lunch box to look like.
1 portion of Vegetables
1 portion of Fruit
1 portion of Milk or Dairy products
1 portion of Meat, Chicken or Protein
1 portion of Grains
1 small treat- optional
The above are just suggestions, there are many more you could add and of course lots of foods that cover more than one food group.
Being physically active every day is important for the healthy growth and development of babies, toddlers and pre schoolers.
Babies (under 1 year)
Babies should be encouraged to be active throughout the day, every day in a variety of ways, including crawling.
If they’re not yet crawling, encourage them to be physically active by reaching and grasping, pulling and pushing, moving their head, body and limbs during daily routines, and during supervised floor play.
Try to include at least 30 minutes of tummy time spread throughout the day when they’re awake.
Once babies can move around, encourage them to be as active as possible in a safe and supervised play environment.
Toddlers (aged 1 to 2)
Toddlers should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes (3 hours). The more the better. This should be spread throughout the day, including playing outdoors.
The 180 minutes can include light activity such as standing up, moving around, rolling and playing, as well as more energetic activity like skipping, hopping, running and jumping.
Active play, such as using a climbing frame, riding a bike, playing in water, chasing games and ball games, is the best way for this age group to get moving.
Pre-schoolers (aged 3 to 4)
Pre-schoolers should spend at least 180 minutes (3 hours) a day doing a variety of physical activities spread throughout the day, including active and outdoor play. The more the better.
The 180 minutes should include at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity.
Children under 5 should not be inactive for long periods, except when they’re asleep. Watching TV, travelling by car, bus or train, or being strapped into a buggy for long periods are not good for a child’s health and development.
All children under 5 who are overweight can improve their health by meeting the activity guidelines, even if their weight does not change. To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, they may need to do additional activity and make dietary changes.
Physical Activity Ideas for Children Under 5
All movement counts. The more the better.
- tummy time
- playing with blocks and other objects
- messy play
- playground activities
- active play, like hide and seek
- throwing and catching
- riding a bike
- outdoor activities
At Newick Preschool we highly value the importance of physical movement for the children in our care. We ensure that children are as active as possible using a variety of activities (please see our Facebook page to see what we get up to!)
You can start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they start to come through. Use a baby toothbrush with a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste.
Don’t worry if you don’t manage to brush much at first. The important thing is to get your baby used to brushing their teeth as part of their daily routine. You can help by setting a good example and letting them see you brushing your own teeth.
Tooth Brushing Tips for Babies:
Use a tiny smear of toothpaste for babies and toddlers up to 3 years old, and a pea-sized amount for children aged 3 to 6 years.
Gradually start brushing your child’s teeth more thoroughly, covering all the surfaces of the teeth. Do it at least twice a day: just before bed and at another time that fits in with your routine.
Not all children like having their teeth brushed, so you may have to keep trying. Make it into a game or brush your own teeth at the same time and then help your child finish their own.
The easiest way to brush a baby’s teeth is to sit them on your knee, with their head resting against your chest. With an older child, stand behind them and tilt their head backwards.
Brush the teeth in small circles, covering all the surfaces, and encourage your child to spit the toothpaste out afterwards. There’s no need to rinse with water, as this will wash away the fluoride.
Supervise brushing to make sure your child gets the right amount of toothpaste and they’re not eating or licking toothpaste from the tube.
Carry on helping your child brush their teeth until you’re sure they can do it well enough themselves. This will normally be until they’re at least 7.
Taking Your Baby to the Dentist:
NHS dental treatment for children is free. Take your child with you when you go for your own dental appointment so they get used to the idea.
Sugar and Tooth Decay:
Sugar causes tooth decay. It’s not just about the amount of sugar in sweet food and drinks, but how long and how often the teeth are in contact with sugar.
Lollipops and sweet drinks in a formula bottle are particularly damaging, because they bathe the teeth in sugar for long periods of time. The acid in drinks like fruit juice and squash can harm teeth as well.
The sugars found naturally in whole fruit and milk are less likely to cause tooth decay, so you don’t need to cut down on these types of sugars.
These tips will help you reduce the amount of sugar in your child’s diet and prevent tooth decay:
- Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks – the best drinks for young children are their usual milk and water.
- It’s OK to use bottles for expressed breast milk, formula milk, or cooled boiled water. But using them for juices or sugary drinks can increase tooth decay.
- From 6 months old, you can offer babies drinks in a non-valved free-flowing cup.
- When your baby starts eating solid foods, encourage them to eat savoury food and drinks with no sugar. Check if there’s sugar in pre-prepared baby foods (including the savoury ones), rusks and baby drinks.
- If you choose to give your child sweet foods or fruit juice, only give them at mealtimes. Remember to dilute 1 part juice to 10 parts water. Your child should have no more than 1 drink of fruit juice (150ml) in any 1 day as part of their 5 A Day.
- Don’t give your child biscuits or sweets – ask family and friends to do the same. Offer things like stickers, hair slides, crayons, colouring books and bubbles instead. They may be more expensive than sweets, but they last longer.
- At bedtime or during the night, only give your child breast milk, formula or cooled boiled water.
- If your child needs medicine, ask your pharmacist or GP if there’s a sugar-free option.
- Check your whole family’s sugar intake