Christmas is an exciting time for toddlers. A time for families to be together, to relax and to celebrate the season.
It can also be a time of extra pressure as parents get swept up in the holiday madness of parties, shopping and cooking!
In such a busy period, everyday routines are abandoned. It can be hard to keep track, and to make sure your toddler is eating the right foods in the right amounts and in the right balance.
The reality of festive season is that kids naps take second place to holiday arrangements and the abundance of treats means your toddler is likely to go on “chocolate strike”.
(Yes, it is entirely possible for your toddler to survive on just chocolate. They are not going to even look at your healthy dinner if they know that they can simply smuggle another decoration off the tree behind your back.)
Most toddlers are sensitive to routine changes so you may notice your toddler being more demanding, grouchy and whiny. In short, tired and presenting you with more challenging behaviour, just when you’re hoping for a break for yourself.
Today I’ve partnered with Infant Toddler Forum to bring you these tips.
Most Parents Lack Confidence Feeding Their Toddlers
A recent parent survey (parents of children 1 – 5yrs) by the Infant & Toddler Forum found that:
- Only 14% of parents follow the recommended serving frequency for each of the food groups when feeding their toddlers. (Meaning kids are eating too frequently.)
- Over a third (35%) are worried they do not give their children the right balance of foods and more than a quarter (26%) feel their child is not getting enough variety.
- Whilst 80% of parents correctly identified the key food groups that when combined form a balanced diet, only a third (28%) take the advice given to them by experts on what they should be feeding their children.
How to Survive the Holidays with Your Toddler
To help make the most of this busy period, the Infant & Toddler Forum have developed resources to help maintain a happy, active and healthy holiday season for all.
Their festive tips for active toddlers have plenty of ideas to keep the little ones busy, and their festive menu is full of suggestions to give little ones a healthy balance at Christmas dinner, while still enjoying all the seasonal fun.
- Stick to Routine. Try to plan activities around your toddler’s routine.
- Stick to your Food Routine. Continue to offer regular meal times and 2-3 nutritious snacks each day.
- Treats in Moderation. Offer treats at the end of the meal and limit them to 2 or 3 sweets or chocolates at a time.
- Activity. Make sure your toddler is getting enough activity. Allow them to get out of the push chair and walk for a bit. Or jump in puddles.
- Sleep. Aim for 12 hours of sleep a day.
Toddler Sized Challenge
Earlier this year I took part in the Toddler-Sized challenge, encouraging parents everywhere to turn the evidence based guidance on feeding toddlers, developed by the Infant & Toddler Forum, into something easy and practical, to take the guess work out of feeding toddlers well every day.
Thank you for your support then, and now you can meet the winners here.
Enjoy your Toddler Christmas
Wishing you a fantastic and stress free Christmas with your toddler and your family.