Helping Toddlers Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

Dr George Aramouni: General Pediatrician, Pediatric Neonatology, Sacré-Coeur Hospital & Bellevue Medical Center


Healthy nutrition starts early! It is important to create healthy habits early on so as to prevent health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure in the future . Sometimes toddlers need to try a food 10 times before they actually accept and enjoy it. It is also important to encourage them lead a healthy active lifestyle.

To lead a healthy active life, families can strive to reach these goals through several steps.
1) Have 5 fruits and vegetables a day.
2) Two hours or less of screen time (TV, computer, video games) per day.
3) One hour of physical activity a day. Limit sugar-sweetened drinks and focus instead on milk or plain water which are always the right choice for kids.
4) Being well hydrated improves mood, memory and attention in children. This keeps joints, bones and teeth healthy, smoothens blood circulation and can aid kids in maintaining a healthy weight into adulthood.

To help children live healthy active lives, parents can act as role models themselves by making healthy eating and daily physical activity the norm for their family. They can create a home atmosphere where healthy choices are available and encouraged. They can find ways to engage their children such as:

1) Playing a game of tag
2) Cooking healthy meals together
3) Creating a rainbow shopping list to find colorful fruits and vegetables
4) Enjoying scavenger hunt through the neighborhood
5) Playing in the garden when available.

In addition, families can make small changes in their routines to help everyone lead healthier and more active lives. Try to prepare food together at home as a family, regularly eat together as a family, eat breakfast every day, eat low-fat dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese, limit fast food, take-out and dine-in food, eat a diet rich in calcium and fiber.

To increase the intake of fluids in kids, families can infuse water with lemons, berries, cucumber or mint for some added flavor. Keeping fruits and vegetables that are high in water content handy such as cucumber, iceberg lettuce, celery, tomato, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, and grapefruit is always a good idea. Freezing fruit inside ice cubes can delight kids with special water bottles or cups. Finally concerning fitness, parents should understand their child’s interest in physical activity at a young age to builds skill so overtime, it becomes a habit that lasts for decades.

Help your children adopt healthy habits. Because healthy active children are more likely to be healthy active adults!

Aptamil is not the author of this article, as it has been written by Dr George Aramouni who is the owner of the content

References:
1) Healthy toddlers | Healthy Children | Healthychildren.org, 27/08/ 2020
2) Tips for healthy children, Familydoctor.org, 23/09/2019
3) Choose Water for Healthy Hydration By: Janine Rethy, MD, MPH, FAAP, 10/9/20

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