The Terrific Twos

Toddlers PlayingTwo-year olds are non-stop action. It seems like their energy will never run out! In order to fuel all this energy, they need healthy meals and snacks. Good food doesn't have to be dull---try fruit, yogurt, whole grain breads, graham crackers or oatmeal raisin cookies. It is okay for your child to have "junk food" every once in a while, but moderation will help form healthier eating patterns later.

Make cooking and eating fun by letting your child help; food is more fun for kids wen they can help make it. And think small---bite size is the right size for kids. There are some foods that can be unsafe if not served in a "kid friendly" way. Kids can choke on whole hot dogs, for example, so slice them into little pieces. Also, cut foods like grapes and cherry tomatoes in half.

Be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables well and peel tough skins. Also, try alternative methods of cooking. For example, instead of always frying chicken or potatoes, bake them. It's healthier that way and tastes good. And remind your babysitter, friends and family to follow these guidelines as well.

By her second year, your child will have begun to interact with other children. This is a wonderful time of exploration and learning. But, being around other children also increases your child's chances of getting sick. That's why the 24-month checkup is important. At this checkup, a health professional will weigh, measure, and immunize your child. Your pediatrician should also test your child's language skills---a child should be combining words into short sentences by around their second birthday, and be able to listen to and follow simple directions. Remember, however, that children develop at different speeds. If you think your child might have a problem, discuss it with your doctor.

From Your Healthy Baby by I am Your Child

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