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EARLY CHILDHOOD: Healthy Weight/Healthy Nutrition/Physical Activity

young girl eating an appleHealthy eating habits are learned

  • Provide nutritious food for your family.
  • Toddlers gain weight more slowly than babies do. Offer nutritious food to support their continued growth.
  • Plan 3 meals and 3 snacks each day for energy, and to help make it through the day with an even temper. Don't worry if she doesn't finish everything offered.
  • Your toddler may still be breastfeeding—and that's okay. Breastfeeding continues to be a good source of nutrition, disease protection, and comfort for growing toddlers.
  • Have healthy snacks on hand such as:
    • Fresh fruit (apples, guava, papaya, oranges, bananas), cut in small pieces
    • Applesauce, tapioca pudding, cheese, tortilla pieces, whole-grain bread or crackers
  • Toddlers eat a little bit many times during the day and make messes as they learn to use utensils such as spoons and forks. Cover the floor and don't worry about the mess.
  • Eat meals as a family. Make eating an enjoyable time.
  • Encourage your child to try new foods. If it takes several times, don't give up. Some children like to eat the same thing all the time. "Food jags" are common at this age.
  • Enjoy being physically active as a family, both inside and outside. Go for walks, ride bikes, and play tag.
  • Children should not be inactive for more than an hour at a time, except when sleeping.