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Brian Cox

By Brian Cox

6 Ways to Advocate Health and Wellness for Toddlers

10/22/12


Young children depend on the guidance of adults. When it comes to health and wellness, day care providers, preschools, and caregivers are the decision makers. Here are six ways parents can be involved with the adults who influence their little ones.

1. Go to School Board Meetings

Learn what programs are being implemented or cut from preschool programs. Advocate for healthy activities, such as recess and physical education classes. Toddlers also should have access to art and music classes to nurture their sense of creativity.

2. Advocate for Nutritious Snacks

Although toddlers like cookies and milk at snack time, they can learn to enjoy fresh strawberries or cheese sticks. Talk with preschool teachers about serving healthy snacks.

3. Volunteer with City Programming

Sit on the board of a community recreation league and promote physical activities for youngsters. Baseball teams and dance lessons shouldn't be reserved for older children. Toddlers can benefit from the physical and mental stimulation as well.

4. Talk to local leaders

E-mail state senators, the school superintendent, and the local library board of directors. Advocate for the continued funding of children's health and wellness programming, such as reading groups, tumbling lessons, and art programs. These teach children there's a world of activities to explore beyond a television or computer.

5. Join a Neighborhood Group

Parents in planned communities or small towns often have access to localized parenting groups. Call the local United Way office for more options. Use these groups to create a stronger voice and community presence around health and wellness for toddlers. There is power in numbers!

6. Visit the Local Grocery Store

Large chain stores often have registered dietitians on staff. Ask if the store can offer children's cooking classes that teach basic nutrition lessons. A class environment with many other children present makes them more likely to experiment with new foods.

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