You’d think that parenting a toddler would be a breeze after already parenting one. But, no way! My two girls have totally different personalities, and what rolls off one’s back is a major cause for tantrum for the other. One is energetic, analytical, and critical, while my other girl is low-key, goofy, and fun-loving.
I’ve got a combined eight years of toddler time under my belt, and I think I’m winning at mom-ing these two. Even though they couldn’t be more different, I’ve been able to create a pretty successful plan to help any toddler get a healthy start to the day (through plenty of trial and error, of course). Don’t worry, this isn’t a long list of super-complicated, time-consuming to-dos. Nope, instead, these are some simple ways to help your little one stay in tip-top shape.
1. Feed her a good breakfast. My younger daughter invented the term “hangry.” A sugar-y breakfast pastry isn’t enough to give her sustained energy, and then her mood plummets. Instead, she starts the day with a filling, nutritious breakfast. Whole grains, fruit, a little protein, and her favorite almond milk give her the boost she needs to power through the morning.
2. Get them moving. In the morning before preschool, my toddler likes to go outside (yes, even in the middle of a Minnesota winter) to stretch, flex, and wiggle. Even as little as five minutes of movement helps her get the wiggles out, so she can sit and focus during school.
3. Make time for imaginative play. Starting the day with some unstructured play time has also helped my girl to be more open to sitting still in the cart while we do morning errands. While I shower and get dressed, she can play, imagine, and pretend a million different scenarios.
4. Schedule quiet time every day. After all that stimulation, movement, and noise-making, toddlers can benefit from a little down time to recharge. Bonus, it also gives you a break to enjoy some quiet time. She’s learning to find fun without a screen, electronic toy, or lots of friends. It’s so helpful when I have to take her along to my dentist’s appointments. A few books, or a coloring book and crayons, are all she needs.
5. Eat a varied diet. Every toddler goes through phases where she only wants to eat the same thing every. single. day. Mine is no different. She was obsessed with PB & Js for a while. Then came the chicken patty stage, followed by the grilled cheese sandwich stage. But here’s the thing: Regardless of their diet, Culturelle® Kids Regularity helps keep kids regular and healthy,
6. Encourage them to clean up their own messes. We’ve set up easy-to-reach, easy-to-open organization bins and drawers so that our girl can clean up her room after a long day of play. This simple task helps her learn to take on simple responsibilities and helps to start the next day off right.
7. Establish a solid bedtime routine. We keep our toddler’s bedtime consistent, even in the summer. It helps her start the next day full of energy and with a more balanced mood. The reduction in temper tantrums is well worth the effort!
*Although Shauna Younge has been compensated by i-Health, Inc., the makers of Culturelle® Kids Regularity, the opinions expressed in this blog are independent and not associated with i-Health.
*Culturelle® Kids Regularity has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.