This year, all settings across the Tops Day Nurseries family have taken part in NDNA’s (National Day Nurseries Association) Healthy Body, Happy Me week (25th – 29th March 2019), which supports us to focus on key areas for teaching children how to keep healthy, safe and growing strong. This year the NDNA teamed up with The British Dental Association and had a focus on oral health.
Each day throughout the week there was a different focus with varied activities.
Here are some examples of the things we have been doing:-
Monday – Let’s look at the mouth!
The children at Tops Poole took part in a number of activities surrounding looking at their mouths. They used mirrors to look at their teeth, before creating pictures of their mouths. The children carefully counted how many teeth they had, before replicating the number and sticking paper teeth to re-create their own mouths.
Tuesday – Let’s limit sugar.
Tops Winchester carried out an activity in which preschool and investigator children discussed how much sugar they thought is in their favourite food, and if it was high or low in sugar.
In 2016, Tops Day Nurseries introduced a new no-added sugar menu in a bid to combat childhood obesity and promotion of healthy living. This menu not only helps to protect children’s teeth but helps with other aspects of their lives, such as health, growth and development.
Research confirms that healthy eating habits in the years before school are very important because they influence growth, development and academic achievement in later life. Good nutrition is important for children aged under 5 to ensure that they get the right amount of energy (calories) and nutrients needed while they are growing rapidly, but not too much energy which may lead to them becoming overweight or obese.
As well as providing children with delicious, nutritious no added sugar meals, Tops Day Nurseries also supports parents with a ‘Food From Home Policy’. To find out more about the no-added-sugar menu, click here.
Wednesday – All about brushing.
Studies have found that tooth decay is a growing problem for more and more young children. Tooth decay is caused when the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars in foods and drinks, this bacteria produces an acid which attacks the outer surface of the tooth.
Tops Day Nurseries run a tooth brushing programme in the aim to help prevent tooth decay and encourage dental hygiene. The children are encouraged to use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes at least once a day. During this time children are supervised to make sure they are brushing effectively and for the right amount of time.
All 28 settings across the Tops Day Nurseries family take part in the toothbrushing programme, and all children under Tops care received a free bamboo toothbrush. To find out more about our bamboo toothbrushes, please click here.
Thursday – let’s talk about fluoride
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in many places, including your teeth. It is also added to dental products such as toothpaste and the water in some areas to help strengthen teeth and prevent dental cavities.
So how much fluoride toothpaste should children have?
Under 3 years old: A smear of toothpaste
Children aged 3 – 6 years: A pea sized amount
Friday – Let’s go to the dentist
Tops Wareham created a brilliant dentist role play area in the preschool room. The staff and children talked about the role of the dentist, why it is important to keep our teeth clean and healthy, as well as familiarising them with the term ‘check up’
We hope the children all enjoyed supporting Healthy Body, Happy Me week! You can find out more about the week on the NDNA website here.