Throughout June, KOHC has been celebrating National Oral Health Month with new topics each week highlighting the importance of oral health and healthy choices for overall wellbeing. We know that oral health is closely tied to overall health and caring for your oral health goes beyond brushing and flossing your teeth each day. A good oral health routine includes regular screenings for oral cancer, dental hygiene and routine check-ups, and healthy food and beverage choices. KOHC promotes optimal oral health throughout the lifetime, but we know that healthy habits learned early on can lead to healthy choices in adulthood.
One of KOHC’s 2020 legislative priorities related to nutrition – health standards in child care centers – completed the legislative process and was signed into law in March 2020. This month, regulations went into effect to codify Senate Bill 45.
SB 45 ensures all children in Kentucky child care centers have access to healthy food and drinks, physical activity, and limited screen time. The new regulations are in line with the standards outlined in the bill, including:
- Aligning food and drink requirements with the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal patterns for all child care centers that serve food.
- Establishing standards for healthy drinks in child care centers to include water, unflavored low- or non-fat milk, and 100% fruit juice.
- Establishing limits on screen time to 30 minutes per day in half-day programs and 60 minutes per day in full-day programs, and no screen time for children under age 2.
- Requiring moderate to vigorous active play time for a minimum of 30 minutes per day in half-day programs and 60 minutes per day in full day programs; offering active play outside when weather permits it.
- Requiring short periods of tummy time each day for infants.
Licensed child care centers that do not already participate in the CACFP program may need to make significant changes to meet the nutrition standards outlined in the new regulations. To help support centers as they make these changes, the Department for Community Based Services’ (DCBS) Division of Child Care and the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute are offering a free training for child care providers to provide technical assistance on regulation changes. Child care providers can learn more and access this free training through the ECE-TRIS portal using their login.
This month and beyond, we invite you to join us in practicing good oral health through healthy food and drink choices, regular check-ups and screenings, and good dental hygiene at home to achieve optimal oral health and overall health.