It can be challenging for any parent to raise a healthy, active toddler in the age of advanced technology, where computer games, apps and DVDs are king, particularly when they seem to keep kids entertained for hours. They also give you a chance to put your feet up for a much-needed cup of coffee or five minutes of peace and quiet.
Be a leading example
The best thing you can do for your child is to lead by example. Toddlers love to mimic what you do, so if you’re spending the days watching telly and scoffing Pringles, what message is that sending to your kids?
Involve tots in chores
Encourage your toddlers to help out with activities throughout the day. It might seem faster for you to do it uninterrupted, but it’s important your child is involved. It doesn’t matter whether it’s helping make the beds, passing you the pegs while you’re hanging out the washing or helping weed the garden.
Develop an exercise routine. Make your first activity together a walk up to the local shops, or a workout with a Wii, Xbox or PS3 and make exercise a reward, not a punishment.
Explore the great outdoors
Plan a daily outing. Going to a lake to feed the ducks, going to the zoo, organising a playdate at the park or enrolling your child in swimming lessons can be a great way to get your child outside and running around. It will burn off energy which is likely to result in less tantrums and a better night’s sleep.
Bounce to burn calories
Purchase a trampoline. Kids love to jump and with the non-slip matting and safety padding, they can entertain themselves for ages while learning how to balance. Did you know you can burn just as many calories bouncing on a trampoline for 30 minutes as you would if you jogged for half-an-hour?
Revert to your childhood
Think back to the games you used to invent as a child before the dawn of computer games. Teach your toddler how to play hopscotch, use a hula hoop or bouncy ball, rollerskate, build outdoor huts and make basic obstacle courses.
Plan healthy meals
Plan healthy meal choices. Feeding your toddler a variety of foods is essential and getting the right balance of energy and nutrients can be difficult when you have a picky eater. A supplement formula can be a tasty way to make sure your little one is getting all the necessary minerals and vitamins to support their growth and development.