Baby Care :: Nutrition for infants – Preschool: Ages 3 to 6

By age three, some toddlers may have moved past establishing independence, but others will still be saying ‘no’ very vigorously. It is a good time to introduce a variety of finger foods after checking with the parent about allergies. Developmentally, toddlers are working on setting boundaries; so, the best approach might be to appeal to their curiosity without insisting that they try new food. This age can also be fearful, so don?t be dismayed if a child rejects a food due to its appearance or texture. Another day will provide another try!

The four-year-old is so much more mature than the three-year-old. The four-year-old is more aware of social expectations and can probably wait his turn for the carrot sticks. However, if this child is especially hungry, don?t be surprised if his desire for something to eat overwhelms his new manners. Still, the four-year-old likes to please adults, and a slight frown or mild word will probably go a long way to change behavior. Adults need to remember that the four-year-old acts older but is still at the beginning of learning to be a social being.

Eating skills are much better established by age five. This young child may still be clumsy with a spoon, and getting his soup to his mouth may be quite challenging. The energy of a five-year-old can get in the way of quiet eating since this child is so busy learning skills. A child care provider may meet a five-year-old who is very certain of what she wants for lunch, and this child may challenge an adult?s patience.

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