Chapter 10.doc

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10 Apr 2012
Chapter Ten
Toddler and Preschooler Nutrition
Key Concepts:
1. Children continue to grow and develop physically, cognitively, and emotionally during the tod-
dler and preschool age, adding many new skills rapidly with time
2. Learning to enjoy new goods and developing feeding skills are important components of this pe-
riod of increasing independence and exploration
3. Children have an innate ability to self regulate food intake. Parents and caretakers need to pro-
vide children nutritious foods and let the children decide how much to eat.
4. Parents and caretakers have tremendous influence on children’s development of appropriate eat-
ing, physical activity, and other health behaviors and habits formed during the toddler years. These
lessons are mainly transferred by example
- toddlers: children between the ages 1 and 3 years.
- Preschool age children: between the ages of 3 and 5
- Gross Motor Skills: Development and use of large muscle groups as exhibited by walking alone,
running, walking up stairs etc
- Fine Motor Skills: Development and use of smaller muscle groups demonstrated by stacking,
scribbling, and copying a circle or square
Growth and Development
- an infants birth weight triples in the first year of life
- on average, toddlers gain 8 ounces per month
Measuring Growth
- recumbent length: measurement of length while the child is lying down
- stature: standing height
The 2000 CDC Growth Charts
- the growth charts are based on data from cycles 2 and 3 of the National Health and Examination
Survey and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys
- provide a reference for how children in the US are growing
- Internet based programs and personal digital assistant devices are available to computer exact
- Body Mass Index: an index that correlates with total body fat content or percent body fat and is
an acceptable measure of adiposity or body fat in an acceptable measure of adiposity or body fat-
ness in children and adults. Calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square height in me-
- visually aid parents by demonstrating the expected slowing of the growth velocity during the tod-
dler and preschool stage of development
Physiological and Cognitive Development
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- development of new skills occur during toddler years
- most children begin to walk independently around their first birthday
- 15 months - children can crawl up stairs
- 18 months - children can run stiffly
- 24 months - most can walk up and down stairs and jump in place
- 30 months- children have advanced to going up stairs by alternating their feet
- 36 months - ready for tricycles
- toddlers have no sense of dangerous situations
- leading cause of death among young children is unintentional injuries
Cognitive Development of Toddlers
- child becomes more interactive
- now possesses the ability to explore the environment and to develop new relationships
- fears common during this time period: separation, darkness, loud sounds, wind, rain, and light-
- begins to learn familys cultural customs during this stage
- dramatic development of language skills occur from 18-24 months
- by 36 months the toddler can use three word sentences
- important social change for toddlers: increased determination to express their own will
- This expression often comes negatively with tempter tantrums ( “terrible twos”)
Development of Feeding Skills in Toddlers
- weaning away from breast or bottle feeding is a sign of growing independence (usually by 12 or
14 months)
- between 12 -18 months toddlers are able to move the tongue from side to side and learn to chew
food with rotary, rather than just up and down movements
- by 12 months able to pick up small objects (cooked peas and carrots) and put them into their own
- 12-24 months toddlers are able to use the tongue to clean the lips
- adult supervision of eating is imperative due to the high risk of choking on foods
- toddler should always be seated during meals and snacks
Feeding Behaviors of Toddlers
- new food is better accepted when the child is hungry
- mealtime is an opportunity for toddlers to practice newly acquired language and social skills to
develop a positive self image
- establishing the habit of eating breakfast is an important part of healthy eating behavior
Preschool - Age Children
- age 4 the child can hop, jump on one foot, and climb well
- child can ride a tricycle, or a bicycle with training wheels and can throw a ball overhand
Cognitive Development of Preschool-Age Children
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