Tips for raising happy and healthy children
Moms, don’t we all want to give our toddlers the best of everything from the day they're born to help them grow into healthy and happy adults? I’m happy to share some tips on how to make a difference in their lives and instill healthy habits from an early age.
There are 4 key behaviors which are scientifically proven to help kids grow into healthy adults, if adopted at an early age.
- More Movement: Toddlers need exercise for their physical well-being, just like adults. It helps them develop their motor, decision making, attention, and organization skills, as well as learn how to be a team player. Make exercise fun for you and your little ones. It can be as simple as playing hide and seek or enjoying a hula hoop challenge or even juggling balls and biking outdoor.
- More Water: Water is the most essential nutrient of life. It keeps us hydrated,especially when you’re living in hot climates and being physically active. Encourage your little ones to drink more water by presenting it in funky cups with their favorite cartoon characters or using colored straws. You can also give it more flavor by adding some fresh lemon, strawberry or orange slices.
- More Fruits & Vegetables: We all heard this from our parents,“eat more fruits and vegetables.” It's easier said than done, especially at the age of 1 – 3 years old. At that age, there are definitely a lot more exciting things to discover.
Make fruit and veggie time more exciting for your toddlers by presenting them in fun shapes, involving them in grocery shopping and letting them pick new fruits and vegetables to try every time. Healthy fruit popsicles or refreshing fresh juices/energizing smoothies are also great ideas to get your toddlers to eat them more often.
- More Managed Portions: Always remember to serve your toddlers managed portions of food. Oversized portions out of generosity actually hinder their innate satiety signals and promote overeating. Let them tell you how much food they want and when to stop, while you remain the queen of deciding the quality of food you're providing them.
As a general guide,you should be serving your toddlers with a small salad plate in the following portions:
- 1/2 plate of vegetables
- 1/4 plate of protein such as fish, meat or chicken
- 1/4 plate of carbohydrates such as rice, pasta or potato
Remember, a serving of fruit and a glass of water or NAN 3 on the side are always great additions.
Tip: For a more visual reference, print this portion guide as a placemat for your little ones to learn about the different food groups)
Finally, if we encourage our children to follow these key behaviors from an early age, we can make a difference and raise a healthier generation.
Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once! Start today one step at a time to help them build a strong foundation for life and grow to become as healthy and happy as they can be.
Stay tuned for more useful tips and tricks in my next post!