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Healthy Lifestyles for Toddlers

by Michele | February 15th, 2016 | Infants/Toddlers, Seasonal

sleeping toddlerI’m sure there are many books and apps that you can buy to guide you, but let me offer you some simple (and free) advice. Teaching your toddler how to live a healthy lifestyle is common sense. Like anything else in parenting, that doesn’t mean that it’s simple, but the younger you start, the easier it will be with time.


Toddlers only eat what you give them. Thus, if they don’t know that all sorts of junk food exist, they won’t know about it or eat it. Snack cakes, toaster pastries, chips, fast food dinners, they don’t know about them and definitely don’t need them. There’s no need to give them soda or chocolate milk. For most toddlers a cup of juice is a treat (and should be). Offer only healthy foods, and that’s all he’ll eat.


Toddlers need sleep. Yes, they love to fight you on it, and who could blame them? If you were being sent to bed or crib and not sure what the rest of your household was doing, you’d want to stay up also. However, sleep is what they need. Most toddlers still need an hour or two of napping each afternoon. For those that won’t sleep, it’s time to institute 30-60 minutes of quiet time in her room. Offer board books or dolls for quiet play only.

Combining the first two themes, we’ll cover bedtime. Toddlers need a lot of sleep. Plus, they don’t know that staying up late is a privilege. Get your toddler to bed at a reasonably early time- anywhere between 7:00 and 8:00 usually works. What you might find most surprising is that when you get them to bed earlier, they actually sleep better and possibly later in the morning than they used to.


No, you don’t need to register your little one for the gym. If you want, a mom/dad and me class is fun but not necessary. You can get plenty of exercise in simple ways. Take a walk around the yard or neighborhood. Teach your toddler a game or two: hopscotch, hide and seek, or tag.  On a rainy day, play a game of balloon volleyball or have a dance party.

Another way to guarantee more physical activity and a healthy lifestyle is to limit the amount of screen time your child has. Try to keep it to an hour or less per day. Your child may not understand fully what an hour is, but you can teach him that he can have two episodes of a 30-minute show or so many rounds of an app-based game.

By incorporating these healthy habits, you’ll make it even easier for your child to make good choices as she matures.

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