As parents we constantly worry about our kids. I’m always asking myself if I’m doing the right thing, are my kids healthy, do they know right from wrong, etc… The questions never end, I’m always worrying about them. But, as a nurse I know a thing or two about how to be healthy. It starts with our little babies. You can build the foundation of healthy habits in toddlers by beginning in their early years.
For example, I started a bedtime routine with Aria since she was 1 week old. It still has not changed since then. Sure there is some variation as she’s gotten older and gained new interested, but the outline of it is the exact same. Routine and consistency is what creates a habit. I think at this point, it’s best to start with a few simple basics. Once toddlers get the basics down you can start adding in a few more things here and there.
5 Healthy Habits for Toddlers
- Washing hands – As a nurse we’re taught this is the number one way to prevent the spread of disease. It’s no different with our kids. Think about it, kids are dirty. They’re in to everything, they have runny, snotty noses and fingers are sticky. Teaching them to wash after coming in from playing outside and after they use the bathroom is a great place to start. Take the time to teach why it’s important and the correct technique!
- Brushing teeth – Dental hygiene is so important. You wouldn’t believe the amount of problems that come for poor dental hygiene…and it’s way worse than just cavities or even a root canal. I’ll spare you the details of what I have seen, so help your kids realize the importance of brushing their teeth everyday right from the start. Teach your kids to brush twice a day, our favorite is Tom’s of Maine, to fight decay and cavities in their teeth. And don’t forget to tell them no food or drinks after brushing their teeth at night.
- Get Out, Get Active – Encourage your kid to find happiness in outdoor activities. Being outside not only gets your child active, but helps limit screen time. Finding ways to play get’s in physical activity, helping start the idea of healthy activities. Being outdoors has also shown to affect mood. So you might just find yourself a happier child!
- Sleeping Habits – Having a regular bed time helps your child go to bed easier.I have been pretty successful with having an effective bedtime routine and having them sleep 11+ hours pretty much every night. Anyway, getting solid sleep helps kids be more attentive in classes, stay in a better mood during the day and build immunity. Here are previous posts I’ve done on this Here Here and Here.
- Reading Books – Creating habits of reading is a fostering their minds. We love books, here are some of our favorites. Reading encourages their imaginations and gets them interested in learning. This will help prepare them for a lifetime of learning, at least prepare them for their school years!
These are a few of the basics we do every day. If you look a my basics verse several others out there you’ll notice I don’t mention anything about food and diet. Probably because encouraging healthy foods has been my hardest habit to work on. Amelia eats much more of a variety of foods than Aria, but I’ve learned you can’t force certain foods on your kids. All I can do at this point is set a good example and talk about what I’m eating. I follow all of “the rules”, like having Aria help me pick out and prepare healthy foods. I encourage her to try anything I am eating knowing she’ll say no every time, but every now and again she’ll say yes and at least think about it.
What are your must have healthy habits you’re instilling in your kids? I’d love to hear them in the comments below, I’m always looking for tips and tricks!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Get Out There and have a Gorgeous day!