Preschoolers and Toddlers Diet of

At approximately age one, children enter the latent period of growth. During this period, until the onset of puberty, growth and development are more gradual than during the first year. Physical growth steadies, and the body begins to look more proportioned as it prepares for an "upright" lifestyle.

The immediate stages following infancy are toddlerhood (ages one through three) and the preschool years (ages three through five). Characterized by temper tantrums, exploration, and endless questions, these periods can be trying for parents. Individual children experience growth spurts and plateaus—during which growth seems to stop completely. Food intake, and a liking of certain foods, may change constantly, causing a great deal of anxiety for parents.

Parents need to recognize that these changes are a normal part of development. Understanding the nutritional requirements of these age groups may help parents adapt to the new challenges. In addition, parents should be aware of the potential problems associated with feeding young children— and the ways to prevent them.

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