Generally speaking, toddlers are not well known for their excellent eating habits. Their temper tantrums and lack of control of their bodily functions are the things that the public tends to focus on.
However, there are four things toddlers do daily which are worth emulating. Perhaps getting healthier is just a matter of acting like a little kid again.
Four Ways to Act like a Toddler and Be Healthier
1) Toddlers have an eating plan for the day.
Well, more specifically their caregivers have an eating plan set for them for each day. Anyone with toddlers knows to never leave the house without snacks or a strategy for lunch.
They have a drink with them, probably milk or water or fruit juice. They are served a balanced diet a regular intervals.
Do those things seem like they would work for adults too? Yes!
2) Toddlers stop eating when they are full.
It does not matter how good the food is or how much they like it, when toddlers are full, they are full. Toddlers will not continue to eat because they want to be polite.
They won’t continue to eat out of an obligation to clean their plates. They won’t continue to eat because they are bored or depressed.
Toddlers know that the uncomfortable feeling in their tummy is a good enough reason to stop eating. Sounds like a trait adults could learn too!
3) Toddlers run.
More importantly, toddlers know how to alternate between running with abandon and standing still. They may have invented interval training long before the term was coined.
The short cardiovascular bursts that toddlers are known for may include jumping on the couch or the bed, leaping over Legos, or playing chase with a dog, friend, sibling, or their shadow.
A small study found positive cardiovascular results in adults who participated in even one minute of super-intense physical activity three days per week.
Go ahead and throw in some bursts of cardio, and the calories burned and increased physical conditioning will add up!
4) Toddlers take naps.
Though some toddlers may fight nap time, most kids will give in to an afternoon siesta. Even those kids who don’t fall asleep often act rejuvenated from a forced “quiet time” in their rooms.
Adults, who are becoming more and more sleep-deprived, need to follow toddlers’ lead on this one.
Naps, even short ones lasting less than one hour, can help to improve performance and reduce mistakes, as well as increase alertness and overall well being.
When adults are tempted to just put their heads down on their desk for 30 minutes, perhaps they should!
Toddlers haven’t learned the rules of the world. They do what makes sense to them biologically and instinctively.
If they see a line in the street, they want to jump it. If they see a rock, they are going to kick it. If they see a wide open field they are going to run.
Though it may be difficult, adults should try to tap into that simple spirit. When in doubt, maybe they could ask WWATD (What Would A Toddler Do)?
Yahoo.com. Web. 19 November 2014. “Three healthy habits from toddlerhood worth reinstating.”
Sleepfoundation.org. Web. 19 November 2014. “Napping.”
Reviewed November 20, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith