Teaching your toddler how to look after himself is important for good self-esteem because you're showing him that he's important, and giving him confidence in himself.

Toddlers learn by imitation, so give him plenty of opportunity to see you eating healthily, exercising and brushing your teeth.

Reading him books where the characters are doing the same things will reinforce the message.

Here's our list of habits every self-respecting toddler should carry out …

1. Learn how to wash their hands

Washing your hands is the best way to prevent the spread of germs.

Encourage your toddler to wash his hands after using the potty or toilet, before meals and after playing in the garden or with animals.

Fill the basin with warm water and teach your child to rub his hands together with soap for 10 seconds, rinse and dry. Make it fun with novelty soaps and towels with children's characters on them.

2. Practice wiping their own bottom

Knowing how to stay clean will help stop the spread of germs.

Teach him how to wipe his bottom, flush the toilet and wash his hands after going to the toilet. Teach girls to wipe from front to back, to avoid bacteria from the bottom being dragged to the vagina.

Moist toilet wipes are a great way to help toddlers get themselves clean; to encourage flushing, try waving goodbye to the toilet contents when pressing the button.

3. Fun with food

A healthy diet will help keep your child fit.

Encourage him to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day, with plenty of calcium-rich dairy products, protein and carbohydrate for energy. The sticking point is usually the fruit and veg, so make it fun by inventing games, songs and characters around them.

Use a wide variety of fruit and veg, and serve it in different ways – raw and cooked, chopped, sliced, diced and grated. Keep it colourful and use fruit and veg to make faces or pictures – a slice of red capsicum for a smile or piece of broccoli as a tree, for example.

Knowing how to stay clean will help stop the spread of germs.

4. Get active

Exercise prevents illness, improves mood, and helps your toddler's brain and body function properly.

Make activity part of your family's daily routine: research shows that children from active families are less likely to become obese when they become adults.

There are lots of places you can take your toddler to run around – the park, garden, playground or indoor soft-play centre.

At home, make sure he's got plenty of toys to encourage activity – balls, beanbags, tricycle, hoops. Even a dance around the room is a great way to get some exercise.

5. Brush those pearly whites

It's important to look after your teeth to prevent tooth decay.

Clean your toddler's teeth twice a day – morning and bedtime. You'll need to help and supervise until he's seven, but show him how to open wide and scrub inside, and let him try himself.

Praise his efforts and make it fun. Play games where you brush the teeth of favourite teddies and toys. Have several brushes, so he can choose. Novelty or battery-operated brushes, and those with an egg-timer stand to encourage longer brushing, are good ideas.

6. Private parts are private

Playing with his privates in public isn't just unhygienic – it's also embarrassing!

It's best not to make too big a fuss if your toddler starts to explore the contents of his pants in the middle of the supermarket: he's just showing a natural curiosity, and you don't want him to end up feeling ashamed of his body.

If his hands start to stray down his trousers, or he starts to strip off, gently distract him with something else. As he gets older, explain the difference between public and private, and point out that some things are not good to do in public.

7. Sleep tight

Getting enough sleep is vital in helping the body and brain rest. Teach your toddler to fall asleep by himself, make sure he goes to bed awake and learns how to drop off on his own (yes, easier said than done, sometimes!).

Help him by sticking to a regular time for bed and establishing a routine – milk, bath, book and bed is a great countdown to sleep.

If he wakes in the night, try and settle him with minimum fuss.

WATCH: Jenna Dewan Tatum and James Corden take a dance lesson from toddlers and it's freaking adorable. Continues after video …

8. Safety first

Thousands of kids end up in hospital every year because of accidents that could easily be prevented.

You need to childproof your home. It's also good to teach him basic safety rules now, as it may save him from injury later.

If he reaches for a knife, for example, say: "No! Sharp!" and draw your hand away, saying "Ouch".

Toddlers learn by imitation, so be safety-conscious yourself never cross the road by dodging between cars, for example.

9. Sun safety

Over-exposure to the sun in childhood can increase the risk of later cancer.

Teach your toddler that applying sunscreen is part of his routine. Explain that the sun is very hot and can burn him.

Make applying cream fun by getting him to help; using sprays can make it easier. Don't forget a hat, too – get him to shop for one with you, as he's more likely to wear one he chooses.

10. Drink lots of water

Drinking water improves concentration and helps the entire body function.

Make sure your toddlers always has water readily available, and ask him regularly during the day if he'd like a drink.

Let him choose a cup that he likes, or allow him to drink from a water bottle or 'big boy' cup sometimes. He may get a bit wet, but if it encourages him it'll be worth a change of clothes!