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Parents can now access an online advent calendar which suggests new ways to keep children active in the build up to Christmas day.
The free calendar has been created by The Infant and Toddler Forum (ITF) to give families a new idea on how to get into the festive mood every day during the month of December.
Judy More, paediatric dietitian, 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. 20 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.”
ITF is hoping to tackle the increase in people leading more sedentary lifestyles by including a range of activities such as Christmas dance-a-thons and making a welcome sign for Santa Claus to get more families active.
Accompanying the calendar is also a fact sheet ‘Physical activity and Play for toddlers’ offering parents practical advice about how they can incorporate exercise and active play into their under five-year-old’s daily routines.
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.”
The ITF is a partner of the Department of Health’s Public Health Responsibility deal which has pledged to improve the health of people throughout the country.
With over 20 per cent of children starting school overweight or obese the ITF are working to make parents aware of the importance of keeping children active during early years to avoid future health problems.
The calendar goes live on the ITF website on 1 December 2013.
For more information please visit: https://www.infantandtoddlerforum.org/activity-advent-calendar