Free advent calendar gives tips for healthy and happy toddlers

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The Infant & Toddler Forum has launched a free online advent calendar which gives parents 24 days of ideas to help keep their toddlers active during the run-up to Christmas.

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The calendar for childcarers and families gives tips to encourage play and physical activity with pre-school children.

The ITF says that daily routines can fall by the wayside during the festive season, with nap times cut short or missed and travelling during the holidays leading to rushed mealtimes, which all affect toddlers’ moods.

Tips on how to keep toddlers active and healthy during the festivities can be found by visiting the ITF website and opening a new door of the Advent calendar every day until 25 December to reveal a new activity, such as walking to the playground to play for half an hour, play 'keep it up' with a balloon, or holding a Christmas dance-a-thon.

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Judy More, paediatric dietician, and member of the Infant & Toddler Forum, said, ‘It’s so important we keep toddlers active for good health and wellbeing both now and in the future. It doesn't have to be complicated -  just taking your toddler out walking somewhere everyday even if it is raining - they like jumping in puddles. Twenty minutes or so at a playground on the way home might be even more popular. For this Christmas we’ve created an Advent Activity Calendar to inspire mums with different activity ideas for toddlers while having some family fun at the same time.’

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said, ‘The Government is encouraging parents to get their young children physically active for at least 180 minutes a day in order to give them the best chance of a healthy start in life. This activity calendar and factsheet have lots of fun and festive ideas for keeping your child active over Christmas.’

Visit the Activity Calendar and download a free activity factsheet from www.infantandtoddlerforum.org