March is National Nutrition Month and KOHC is excited to celebrate alongside our members, advocates, and the community. Research shows that food and beverage choices are important factors for healthy growth and development, and maintaining good oral health. KOHC promotes optimal oral health throughout the lifetime, but we know that health 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 last March. Senate Bill 45 from 2020 ensures all children in Kentucky child care centers have access to healthy food and drinks, physical activity, and limited screen time.
We know that the advocacy work doesn’t stop when a bill makes it through the legislative process and becomes law. KOHC has continued to monitor and ensure regulation changes took place to support this law after passage in 2020. This month, we also saw the full implementation of regulation changes in line with standards listed 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 – 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 – offer active play outside when weather permitting.
- Requiring short periods of tummy time each day for infants.
This month and beyond, we invite you to join us in practicing good nutrition habits with healthy food and drink choices to achieve optimal oral health and overall health.